Common Types of Theft Prevalent In The State Of New Jersey

Interviewer: What other kinds of theft do you commonly see?

Ben Kelsen: We see theft ;again just using the example we just had, where a check bounced; under the law it’s usually called kiting or floating bad paper, writing bad paper, colloquially. Basically it means you wrote a check to somebody without having funds to be able to cover the money in the account. So the statute takes into account the concept that a person could write a check on their own personal account and think they have the money there and suddenly something happens and it doesn’t clear. That’s happened to most people at some point, some check bounced. The statute gives you a certain amount of time to be able to make good on that check before you’d be guilty of – or it could be open to the liability of being charged. I suppose I should say: where you have the exposure of being charged. So that’s one type of thing that we see.

The Number of People Using Stolen Checks or Stolen Credit Cards is Increasing

The other type that we see is people who are using other people’s checks stolen checks, stolen credit cards. With all the software programs out there to write checks, a check is really nothing magical; in theory you can write a check on a napkin from McDonald’s, as long as you have the right code numbers – the ABA routing number, the account number and whatever else and it’s signed. In theory, that’s really all it is. So I personally had somebody hack my checking account information and print up a check on My Account for some ridiculous sum of money and went to a bank to try to cash it. The bank told the security at that bank that they noticed that it’s not the type of check that I usually use, the signature was not my signature, and I have never kept five million dollars in my checking account. So it was kind of a lucky break. But that’s something you see.

Internet Theft And Fraud Is Also a Rising Trend

Another thing that we unfortunately see also now with the internet is, a lot of theft on the internet, there’s a lot of – as we’ve read in the paper – opportunities out there for people to gain other people’s information. Their credit card numbers, their social security numbers, things like that. People can apply for score for credit cards very easily, and if a person’s credit score is good then it’s really not that big of a deal. I had a case about a year or two ago, where there was a young man.

Unfortunately his case was a little bit on the slower side – he’s mentally challenged – and did not really quite understand that what he was doing was wrong but the place that he was living; they were getting a lot of these offers in the mail for credit cards. So he happened to  because he was getting mail from the previous occupants of the house – he was privy to all their information. So he sent out a couple of these applications, then got five or six cards using these people’s information and then was walking around with these cards.

Incidents of Someone’s Email or Banking Information Being Hacked Are Fairly Common

If somebody can hack into somebody’s email, or hack into a system- such as we saw recently with some of the stores; the retail chains, or banks, a lot of information can be compromised and so frequently there are people that take undue advantage of that. I have a case right now where a gentleman has been accused of being involved with credit card theft with his cousins on another continent, in a whole other country. That they used stolen credit cards to purchase items, half of those items were shipped to their cousins who will then ship them overseas to them. And they were making a fortune doing that.

My client claims not to have known anything about it, wasn’t involved in the purchases, just know that his cousins were asking him to ship to them boxes that would show up at his house of stuff that they had ordered. And he thought that they’re just buying stuff and he’s just forwarding it over to them, but was not necessarily involved in the actual, criminal use of false identities in terms of that purchase. But he may be guilty of a conspiracy theory. So those are other types of stupid things happening a lot right now.

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