April 20, 2021
What You Need To Know About Spousal, Marital Identity Theft in Pennsylvania
It’s not uncommon for a married couple who have been together for years to begin to exhibit similar traits and habits–almost becoming the same person. However, when you use your spouse’s identity without their knowledge, it’s not a cute long-term partner trait. It may be considered a crime.
While married couples do have certain rights and responsibilities to their partner, using their identity for what can be considered fraudulent activity is not protected. However, if your spouse is accusing you of spousal identity theft, there are a few things you need to know.
What is Spousal Identity Theft?
Naomi Young, an Equal Justice Works fellow embedded with the nonprofit Her Justice, explains that one part of the issue with marital identity theft is that there has been a long-standing assumption that if you marry someone, you have consented to allow them to do what they wish in regards to your person, your property, etc.
Marital identity theft typically occurs when a spouse opens multiple credit card accounts, misuses their partner’s Social Security number, or signs documents on their behalf without consent. In 2018, roughly 2.2 million Americans experienced identity theft by someone they knew.
However, there are situations where spousal identity theft, or intimate identity theft, can be challenging to prove.
Common Occurrences of Spousal Identity Theft
We often think of identity theft as taking someone’s identity for fraudulent purchases, online transactions, etc. But when it happens between spouses, it may look a little different.
Common examples of spousal identity theft include:
- Putting debt exclusively in your spouse’s name
- Signing documents on your spouse’s behalf without their knowledge
- Applying for loans under your spouse’s name
Issues With Signing Documents For Your Spouse
Maybe your husband asked you to sign the back of his check so you could deposit it on your way to the store. Or, perhaps your wife asked you to sign for her on a medical slip because she forgot to before leaving for work.
Situations like this happen, but let’s say you sign your partner’s check and you assume it’s fine, but then he or she turns around and accuses you of fraud.
While this situation isn’t likely to spur a lawsuit, repeated behaviors may. If you have been wrongfully accused of marital or intimate identity theft, know that you have options and Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano can help.
Spousal Identity Theft Defense By Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano.
Identity theft charges can be very overwhelming and intimidating–especially if brought forward by your spouse. Even if you have been wrongfully accused, you still need legal counsel on how to proceed.
Our team of criminal defense attorneys will investigate the allegations against you. This includes carefully reviewing the prosecution’s evidence and conducting independent research to uncover the truth.
You have rights. We can fight for them. Call (570) 348-0776 and schedule a free case evaluation. Contact Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano.