What are the statutes of limitations for identity theft, fraud and forgery?

Asked over 4 years ago - New York, NY

A while ago a person I know stole my identity, applied for a credit card and cable TV in my name, both amounting to thousands of dollars each. Neither were ever paid. This person lived in Hawaii, which is were these accounts originated and still stand. I live in New York and have never lived in Hawaii. As the bills were going to the Hawaii address, I only recently found out about them. I would think this is a matter of identity theft, forgery and fraud. What are the statutes of limitations to take action for these? How do I deal with them, living in a different state?

What are the possible/prpenalties this person may face?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Matthew Bryant

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . The statute of limitation for fraud is 6 years in New York. There is no private claim for "forgery" as such, other than fraud, and "identity theft" is not yet a private claim in and of itself under NY law either. While these claims are undoubtedly actionable, that is you can sue the individual for fraud, and I would suggest "interference" and misapprorpriation theories under NY law (the latter two are three year claims) in New York, the biggest problem you will face will be enforcing a potential judgment against the defendant in Hawaii. What to do? If you haven't reported the crime to your local NYPD precinct, I recommend starting there to begin documenting the crime. You can use the police report later. Likewise, the defrauded credtors need to be informed, preferably with a copy of the police report, so they can conduct an investigation. You can also place a freeze on your credit report with the copy of the police report. NYS Consumer Protection Board has an entire section that you can puruse for other information. http://www.nysconsumer.gov/internet_security.htm Likewise, you can report the identity thet to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and visit their web-site for more information.

    Reporting the crime and putting the creditors on notice is paramount. I am not licensed in Hawaii and do not know the state of their laws or whether the local police will take you out-of-state report. Under NY law, however, the police department must take your report and that is where you should start. Be prepared to do some leg work yourself. Your individual claims against the thief can be pursued but absent unusual circumstances may prove difficult to collect privately.

    Good luck,

    Matt Bryant

    Credit agency contact information:

    Equifax:

    To report fraud, call (800) 525-6285 or write to P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374-0250.
    To order a copy of your credit report ($8 in most states), write to P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241, or call (800) 685-1111.
    To dispute information in your report, call the phone number provided on your credit report.
    To opt out of pre-approved offers of credit, call (888) 567-8688 or write to Equifax Options, P.O. Box 740123, Atlanta GA 30374-0123.

    Experian (formerly TRW)

    To report fraud, call (888) EXPERIAN or (888) 397-3742, fax to (800) 301-7196, or write to P.O. Box 1017, Allen, TX 75013.
    To order a copy of your credit report ($8 in most states): P.O. Box 2104, Allen TX 75013, or call (888) EXPERIAN.
    To dispute information in your report, call the phone number provided on your credit report.
    To opt out of pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists, call (800) 353-0809 or (888) 5OPTOUT or write to P.O. Box 919, Allen, TX 75013.

    Trans Union

    To report fraud, call (800) 680-7289 or write to P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634.
    To order a copy of your credit report ($8 in most states), write to P.O. Box 390, Springfield, PA 19064 or call: (800) 888-4213.
    To dispute information in your report, call the phone number provided on your credit report.
    To opt out of pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists, call (800) 680-7293 or (888) 5OPTOUT or write to P.O Box 97328, Jackson, MS 39238.

  2. Carlos Gonzalez

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . criminally the statute of limitations is 5 years. civilly as mentioned before it is 6 years.

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