ID Theft vs. Fraud and how FACTA Protects You

Millions of people across the country are disenfranchised every day by identity theft and fraud. Residents of Florida are particularly at risk of being victims of these crimes, considering the state holds the highest rate of identity theft and fraud in the nation with over 186 complaints per 100,000 people. The terms “fraud” and “theft” are commonly used interchangeably, yet there is an important distinction between the two.

What is Identity Fraud?

Identity “fraud” refers to when a person’s sensitive personal information is used to access money. Victims of identity fraud may notice fraud has occurred when their credit cards are maxed out, bank accounts emptied, and credit scores plunge. It is also possible that identity thieves take mail from their victims’ mailboxes to take information from credit card bills and bank statements. In extreme cases, thieves can even have mail rerouted. Identity theft in the form of fraud is among the most common types of theft, if not the most common.

What is Identity Theft?

General identity theft occurs when a person accesses the personal information of another. It can be for any reason, including for purposes of financial gain (fraud). Oftentimes, this type of theft is used for medical reasons — a person can take your identity and pose as you to receive medical treatment at a cost to you.

Identity theft is on the rise as hackers and thieves face relatively few risks when engaging in this lucrative criminal activity. It is important to note that there are many insiders working at educational, medical, and financial institutions who sell sensitive data to these criminals for a hefty price. You can never be too careful with your personal information, which is why Florida consumer protection attorneys fight to uphold the various consumer protections currently in place.

Of these protections, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act or “FACTA” works to protect consumers at the point of sale. If you have ever wondered why a paper receipt displays only the last 4 or 5 digits of your credit card or debit card, that’s because under FACTA, those are the only digits that can be shown. Also, the expiration date of your credit or debit card cannot be shown.

If you have had sensitive credit or debit card information exposed on an electronically-printed receipt, you could win significant damages under FACTA. Each violation can be worth up to $1000! For a free case evaluation in the South Florida metro area, contact Jibrael S. Hindi and his team of FACTA attorneys at 1-844-JIBRAEL. You do not pay a dime until Jibrael and his team win for you!