November 25, 2017 | ryan The recent Equifax breach leaked the personal information of 140 million Americans. Now, people in Washington and all over the country are dealing with the ramifications of this breach—the main one being identity theft. One Seattle woman has had her identity stolen not once, not twice, but 15 times. With the help of her attorney, she is hoping to help others in the state of Washington by filing a class-action lawsuit. She is suing Equifax for its negligence in allowing hackers to get ahold of her personal information. The woman had received letters from multiple retailers such as Old Navy, Macy’s and Kohl’s thanking her for applying for credit cards. This was suspicious to her, as she had never applied at those places. She’s frustrated that someone is using her information to create an ID and pose as her, but unfortunately, it’s a common issue. In fact, cybersecurity experts claim that everyone’s Social Security number has been stolen at least once in the past decade. Identity Theft Laws In the past, it was not considered a crime to steal another person’s identifying information. Identity theft is now considered a federal crime. Under 18 U.S.C. § 1028, identity theft refers to knowingly using another person’s identification to engage in unlawful activity. Those convicted can face up to 15 years in prison as well as hefty fines. Stealing someone’s mail or going online to access their name, address, credit card information, Social Security number and other identifying information is against the law. Authorities do not take identity theft lightly. It is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country. Sometimes people are wrongly accused of identity theft. Maybe someone used your computer to commit this crime. Perhaps you did commit the crime, but feel you could get your charges reduced. Without a solid defense, you could be convicted of a felony, which will stay on your criminal record for a long time. Get Help for Your Criminal Case Identity theft is a federal crime that is taken seriously. Those who engage in this crime can cause serious damage to one’s credit. If you are facing charges of identity theft, you need a solid defense. The Nahajski Firm has decades of experience helping those accused of identity theft and other crimes. We can help reduce your sentence or even eliminate it altogether. For a free consultation with a criminal law attorney in Bellevue, contact the Nahajski Firm at (206) 621-0500.