The risks of committing financial identity fraud

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | White Collar Crimes |

Financial identity fraud is a serious crime in South Carolina. This crime occurs when fraudsters use other people’s information without their permission. The crux of this crime is the unauthorized use of someone else’s personal information. Misrepresenting oneself in this way can lead to significant emotional and financial harm for those on the receiving end of this crime.

Understanding the implications of financial identity fraud is vital. This knowledge can help people protect themselves or prepare a defense if they face allegations.

Examples of personal identifying information

People who commit financial identity fraud often go to great lengths to illegally take control of another person’s bank accounts. They may manipulate systems, assume another’s identity or use other sneaky methods. All of this is done with malicious intent: to steal substantial sums of money from the victim’s accounts.

However, carrying out this crime requires stealing personal identifying information. This specific data, unique to each individual, includes:

  • Social security numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers or state identification card numbers
  • Checking and savings account numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Debit card numbers
  • Personal identification (PIN) numbers
  • Dates of birth

Some people, like financial advisors or caregivers, might have rightful access to this information. But, they cross a line if they misuse this information for unauthorized benefits, like making money for themselves. If they use this data for unauthorized transactions or to open new accounts, they’re breaking the law and could face serious consequences.

Risks of committing fraud

In South Carolina, committing financial identity fraud counts as a felony. As per state law, if the court finds an individual guilty of this crime, they could face a fine of up to $50,000 or up to ten years in prison. In some cases, they may even be subject to both.

The court may also order the accused to repay the stolen amount to the victim, which can be a significant financial burden.

In addition, that person could lose the trust of family, friends and the community, leading to potential damage to their reputation. This could result in difficulties when seeking future employment, building relationships and life in general.

So, those facing allegations of financial identity fraud should consider seeking a lawyer experienced in criminal defense. A lawyer can help them understand their case and explore possible defense strategies.


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