Identity Theft – Statistics and Nevada State Laws
As our ability to develop new and sophisticated ways to transact business increases, so, it seems, does our ability to develop novel and complex identity theft crimes. According to the FBI, for the five-year period between 2010 and 2015, there was a twofold increase in the number of identity theft crimes.
Other statistics reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics show that in 2016, ten percent of individuals age 16 and older reported being victimized by an identity theft crime. Many of these crimes involved the use or attempted use of a victim’s existing account. While many of the identity theft victims who reported these crimes were able to resolve subsequent credit or account problems, the fact is that identity theft is a serious concern for individuals, especially given the type and volume of information available to creative identity thieves.
Identity Theft in Nevada; Statistics and Laws
According to a Federal Trade Commission report, Nevada ranked fifth highest in identity theft reports, based on data from 2017. A USA Today report for the following year revealed that Nevada remained among the top five states with the highest reported number of identity theft and credit card fraud crimes.
There are a number of laws on the books in Nevada aimed at combatting identity theft crimes. These laws prohibit or criminalize different types of conduct, such as:
- the improper use of another’s social security number
- the improper use of another’s personal identifying information (other than social security number)
- obtaining and using identity information to harm another, impersonate another, gain access to records, or for any other unlawful purpose
- selling identification documents or possessing identification documents for the purpose of establishing false status or false identity
Nevada’s Identity Theft Program Card
To combat the problem of identity theft, Nevada has enacted an Identity Theft Program. Under NRS 205.4651, both Nevada residents and nonresidents who are identity theft victims can obtain Identity Theft Program Cards aimed at helping them to restore credit and avoid potential criminal liability.
Generally, if the victim signs a written report stating that he or she was a victim of identity theft, he or she can then fill out an application for an Identity Theft Program Card. The state attorney general, in cooperation with law enforcement, is responsible for issuing the Identity Theft Program Card.
A validly issued Identity Theft Program Card may be presented to law enforcement or a creditor for the following purposes:
- to help prevent an individual’s arrest or detention for an offense committed by a thief using the individual’s personal information
- to aid in the creditor’s investigation of any fraudulent activity
The law enforcement agency or creditor has discretion regarding acceptance of the Identity Theft Program Card, however, depending upon the surrounding circumstances and available information regarding the identity theft crime.
If you would like to know more about identity theft crime laws in Nevada, or have been arrested or detained for committing a crime involving identity theft, contact Lobo Law to speak with an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer today.