Personal Injury Via Fraud And Identity Theft
Do you know which state has the highest rate of consumer complaints in the country? If you guessed it’s Florida, you’re spot on. To top things off, South Florida ranks number one in identity theft according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Victims of this type of fraud may not know where to turn: they need serious legal help.
What makes Florida such a hot spot for cyber-crimes? Several factors make it an ideal location for such thieves:
- State officials scrutinize dealings less closely due to the fact that there is no state income tax;
- Population transiency makes it easy for shady characters to weave in and out of communities unnoticed;
- The elderly population often has pots of money in savings, and are frequently more vulnerable to scams;
- Rapid development results in millions in new dollars changing hands all the time.
In today’s world, so much personal information is stored on so many different databases that security is at risk. When he personal information about consumers that is contained on big company websites is hacked, it means sensitive data makes its way into black market cyber-crime sites. During one year, the number of complaints is astonishing:
- Over 200,000 fraud complaints;
- 37,000 identity theft issues.
Consequences for Identity Theft
Federal officials are hot on the trail of these thieves. A couple of high profile cases in recent times include:
- 156 months in prison for one many, who was discovered to have over 2,400 names and Social Security numbers;
- 240 months in prison and $4 million in fines for one woman for stealing identities from the Orange County Health Department in order to collect tax refunds fraudulently.
Sentencing Judges have the capacity top order defendants to pay restitution to victims if the loss is verifiable. The Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund has been established under the Mandatory Restitution Act of 1996. It may cover costs associated with:
- Losses in conjunction with stolen credit cards;
- Loss of property (or damage to property);
- Losses due to investment fraud;
- Losses associated with telemarketing fraud;
- Losses in personal income or expenses related to a victim’s time assisting in an investigation;
- Medical costs, including physical and psychological care, incurred as a result of the fraud.
Furthermore, fraud victims may file a lien against a perpetrator of fraud.
Other Sources of Compensation
Finally, there are a number of other places that may be sources for restitution:
- Victims may file a civil suit against the perpetrator;
- Insurance companies my cover some lost money;
- Disability payments may be forthcoming.
You Need Legal Help
If you have been the victim of fraud, the personal injury to you could be enormous. You deserve experienced, tenacious legal representation. At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, we will fight for justice on your behalf. Schedule your free, confidential consultation in Daytona & Ormond Beach today.