Identity theft in Texas can be a complicated offense that causes years of problems for victims. In one recent report from El Paso, a defendant is accused of living on a false persona for years and even using it when he was arrested by cops for drunk driving.
A report on Channel 5 News cited years of torment in the case. A suspect was booked into jail in Hidalgo County in October 2017.
The news report stated the alleged suspect used the man’s identity to obtain cell phones and credit cards.
The authorities said he even used the alias he assumed when he was ticketed for driving while intoxicated.
The victim, Alfredo Alvarez, is originally from the Rio Grande Valley. The family learned Alvarez’s identity had been compromised when they tried to file their taxes five years ago.
Their story highlights some of the difficulties victims of identity theft face.
Every year the family had to ask the IRS to take jobs that were not Alvarez’s from the return. They were asked to pay traffic tickets they did not incur.
They live in Iowa but faced traveling to Texas to sort out the problems.
The report noted Alvarez’s social security card and birth certificate were stolen from his mother’s purse 10 years ago.
He was told he did not qualify when he tried to buy a house in 2013 due to poor credit.
In 2014 when he was working in Kansas, he had a problem when he tried to renew his driver’s license. He said:
“I could not renew my license due to a $600 ticket that I was driving a Jaguar, I had a DWI with a minor and that’s when I freaked out, because I never had a Jaguar.”
Identity theft is a major problem in Texas and elsewhere. Bureau of Justice stats reveal about 7 percent of people become victims of identity theft in any given year.
Texas recognizes the fraudulent use or possession of identifying information as an offense as well as unauthorized transfer or acquisition of certain financial information.
A survey from WalletHub revealed Texas is one of the states most vulnerable to identity theft.
If you have been charged with a crime of this nature you may be incarcerated and face a hefty fine.