The definition of identity theft, to put it into simple terms, is when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission, usually for financial gain. But in truth, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Identity theft can refer to a wide variety of crimes, and be driven by a lot of different end goals. So what exactly does that mean here in Michigan? Let’s unpack this subject and see what’s what here.
The most common ways identity theft happens in Michigan
There are lots of ways that someone could steal personal, identifying information from you. But here in Michigan, the most common ways people have their identity stolen are:
- Data breaches
- Unsecure websites
- Credit card skimming
- Phishing and spam attacks
- Mail theft
As you can see, there are lots of ways a person could steal personal information from you and use it illegally to their own benefit. This means you have to be alert and make smart choices when it comes to the safety of your personal information. You don’t want to become a victim.
Why would someone steal your identifying information?
Although there are many reasons why someone would want to steal personal information from someone else, the primary reason is money – to make it, steal it, or earn it illegally. In some cases, a hacker will access your sensitive information, like credit card info and social security number in order to sell it on the dark web.
Sometimes people steal that information because they want to use it themselves to make purchases they can’t afford (which is why someone would steal your credit card or debit card info). And sometimes they use tricks and scams to get at your bank account, getting you to unwittingly hand over your own money to a con man. (This is a particular issue here in Michigan, where many people have fallen for the ‘guy from Nigeria who needs help offloading millions in diamonds or gold’ email scam. Identity theft can be a major nightmare for the victim.
How could identity theft affect you personally?
Having your personal information stolen is at best, inconvenient, and at worst a financial disaster. It all depends on what the information is used for and how quickly you catch it. Here are a few examples of what someone could do with your personal info:
- Open credit cards in your name, running up unpaid debt that destroys your credit
- File fraudulent tax returns in your name, and then steal your tax refund
- Access your bank account and steal your money
- Use your existing credit and debit cards to make unauthorized purchases
- Sell your information to other thieves
- File phoney health insurance claims in your name
Identity theft is taken very seriously here in Michigan!
Join us next time for a look at what Michigan law says about identity theft and how the charges are handled. Until then, what should you do if you’ve been accused of identity theft or a fraud crime in Michigan? Simple: Call the criminal defense team at The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245! Don’t wait, and hope the case will “blow over.” Don’t talk to the police, or your employers about the accusations. Don’t talk to anybody! And definitely don’t postpone dealing with the issue.
Identity theft crimes are serious, and Michigan police and prosecutors will pursue charges if they think they have even the smallest chance of getting a conviction. Now is the time for action! Our experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys are standing by, available 24/7 to help by calling 866 7NoJail.