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Tax season will likely lead to identity theft charges for some

In Illinois and throughout the country, it's that time of year when most people are rushing to get their tax returns filed and any required payments remitted. Many complications, delays and problematic issues often arise in the days and weeks that follow. Some people make mistakes filling out their tax forms. Others forget to include certain income. Some, however, will wind up facing identity theft charges when accused of using stolen information to collect tax refunds.

Of course, identity theft is definitely not a crime limited to the tax season. In fact, in 2016 alone, approximately $16 billion was stolen from millions of consumers. Another frequently reported type of criminal activity occurs when people create counterfeit debit cards containing other people's information, in order to go on shopping sprees.

Using chip-installed cards and credit cards (as opposed to debit) appears to somewhat waylay such situations. With regard to the chip, these are encrypted with certain information that makes duplicating them more challenging. Travelers are best advised to use credit cards over debit if they want to lower their risks of theft.

Facing formal charges for identity theft in Illinois is a whole other ball game, however. One's freedom and entire future could be on the line. This is when it often pays to hire experienced and aggressive defense assistance before making one's way through the criminal justice system. An attorney will go to great lengths to protect a client's rights and best interests in court, and challenge any evidence believed to have been seized in a manner that violated a client's personal rights in some way.

Source: thedickinsonpress.com, "Identity theft an occurrence anytime, anywhere", Kalsey Stults, April 12, 2017

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