Assuming another identity for employment is an offense

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Even if a person serves their prison sentence completely, their criminal record stays. It can also affect their ability to secure employment. Many employers conduct background checks and could shy away from hiring those with a criminal record. Some jobs require a professional license or security clearance, so a criminal record would automatically set an applicant back.

If you have a criminal record, it may be tempting to lie on your resume by assuming another person’s identity, if only to get a job. However, this is illegal in South Carolina, and you could face penalties if convicted.

Using another person’s identifying information is identity fraud

According to state law, a person who uses another person’s identifying information to secure employment or avoid identification by law enforcement commits the offense of identity fraud.

Personal identifying information includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • The other person’s Social Security Number
  • Driver’s license number or state identification card number
  • Payment card (credit or debit) numbers, information
  • Passport information
  • Checking and savings account numbers
  • The other person’s birthdate
  • Digital signatures
  • Electronic identification numbers
  • PIN codes

It’s also against the law to use another person’s current or former names, but only when the names are used with other identifying information.

The penalties for identity fraud

A violation of South Carolina’s identity fraud law is a felony. On conviction, a person faces a court-determined fine and up to 10 years of imprisonment. A court may also order the convicted to pay restitution to the original owner of the identity if the fraud led to any pecuniary damages.

While it’s true that a criminal record adversely affects your employment opportunities, turning to identity theft is not the way. A conviction for this offense leads to up to a decade of prison time, so if you face charges, consider consulting with a legal professional who may be able to protect your rights in court.


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