Identity theft is a crime that involves taking and using another person’s identity to obtain credit, open bank accounts, or commit similarly deceitful acts. It also can include selling or transferring another person’s identifying information, such as a Social Security number, driver’s license number, or birth date, for illegal purposes. Using another person’s bank account or credit card without permission to make purchases or obtain money is also often considered an identity theft crime.
In Georgia, identity theft is known as “identity fraud.” Georgia also has extensive laws addressing credit card theft and fraud.
In Georgia, it is a felony to intentionally and fraudulently:
Georgia’s identity fraud law does not apply to a person younger than 21 who uses a fake ID to buy alcohol, get into a bar, or do some other act that is prohibited for a person under age 21. Other criminal statutes may apply to this kind of behavior.
Identity fraud is a felony in Georgia punishable by one to ten years in prison, a fine up to $100,000, or both. If the conviction is a second or subsequent offense, the required sentence is three to 15 years, a fine up to $250,000, or both. (Ga. Code Ann. § 16-9-121.)
Aggravated identity fraud in Georgia consists of intentionally and fraudulently using fake identifying information about a real, fictitious, or dead person in order to obtain employment. This crime is a felony, punishable by one to 15 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both. (Ga. Code Ann. § 16-9-121.1.)
It is a crime in Georgia to pretend to be a business and use any electronic means to trick someone into giving you personal identifying information (such as date of birth, tax payer identification number, or mother’s maiden name).
A common example of this criminal act is sending an email that appears to come from a bank, credit card company, or other business that requests that the recipient go to a web site and enter his name, account number, password, or other identifying information.
It also is a felony to possess information obtained through this kind of criminal act with the intent to sell or distribute the information or to use it to defraud someone.
Using false electronic means to obtain someone else’s personal information is a felony punishable by one to 20 years in prison, a fine between $1,000 and $500,000, or both. (Ga. Code. Ann. § 16-9-109.1.)
The crime of financial transaction card theft in Georgia consists of
Financial transaction card theft is a felony in Georgia, punishable by one to three years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both. (Ga. Code Ann. § 16-9-31.)
A person commits forgery of a financial transaction card in Georgia if she
Forgery of a financial transaction card is a felony punishable by one to three years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both. (Ga. Code Ann. § 16-9-32.)
A person commits financial transaction card fraud in Georgia if he:
A person who accepts credit and debit cards as a business owner or employee also can commit financial transaction card theft if, with intent to defraud, the person
Financial transaction card fraud is a felony in Georgia. If the crime involves a value of $100 or less, it is punishable by one to two years in prison, a fine up to $1,000, or both. If the crime involves a value over $100, it is punishable by one to three years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both. (Ga. Code. Ann. §16-9-33)
If you are charged with or are being investigated for an identity theft crime, you should contact an attorney immediately. An experienced lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and determine whether you have any grounds for dismissal of the charges against you, explore plea options, or represent you at trial.