What happens in a case of iidentity theft?

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What happens in a case of iidentity theft?

My sister used my name on an account, in which she left a $24 bill and $100 for not turning in the devices from the company. This has gone on my credit report. What could possibly happen to her if I press charges? This happened in 2008. Would it be a civil procedure or criminal?

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It could be civil, or criminal, or both. Identify theft is a crime--both in that it's been specifically made a crime in many jurisdictions and in that it is a form of fraud, or theft by deception. Therefore, your sister could face criminal charges, and if charged specifically with identify theft, the punishment could be more severe than would normally be the case for $124 theft. Also, stealing in any form--including by identify theft--is a civil tort, or wrong. You could sue--for example, in small claims court--to recover any losses.

It may be the case that if you're going to try to clean up your credit rating, the credit rating companies might require you to file a police report, the same as insurers requiring a police report before paying out on a theft claim. If your credit has been damaged, you probably do want to report this to the police, at least if you are concerned about it and want to try to correct the situation.


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