Regardless of whether it is a first offense or second offense, being charged of a crime is a serious matter. Donich Law has handled a number of fraud and theft allegations in Toronto. 99% of all single count first offenders were resolved without a criminal conviction. However, past results may not necessarily be indicative of future performances because every case has its own unique facts.
Identity theft and fraud are becoming prevalent in Calgary and the pandemic is not helping at all. Experts have warned people to be extra careful of scams, fraud and other crimes that target bank accounts during the holiday season. According to Statistics Canada, the rise in identity theft and fraud can be attributed to lack of awareness.
Alana Huggins was a victim of identity theft two years ago. She warns people to be more cautious every time they are approached particularly in financial situations. During the new normal, there are few face-to-face interactions so that people do not know whomever they are talking to. Online shoppers are favorite targets because they often let their guard down.
Before providing personal information, it is important to scrutinize the legitimacy of the website and apps they are using. Alana Huggins found out that she was a victim of identity theft when she received a letter that says she owes more than $157,000 for a Land Rover that was purchased in Kelowna, B.C.
Identity crimes have not changed much over the last few years but it is expected that there will be more COVID-related scams. People may call or send phishing email pretending to be from a utility company, from the RCMP saying that there is a warrant of arrest or from the CRA for taxes. Identity-based crimes are difficult to prosecute because the perpetuator is often from a different region or country.
Theft happens in a variety of contexts. Donich Law has a dedicated practice to first offenders who have been charged with theft including employees who have been charged with stealing from their employers. Meanwhile, fraud has the additional element of intent to hide or conceal an unlawful act. Fraud is more aggravating than theft and has higher penalties.