AMERICAN INTERCONTINENTAL UNIVERSITY
CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
BY MICHELLE SUMMERS
SEPTEMBER 28, 2014
Identity theft is when a person steals another person’s identity for whatever purpose. It is considered theft and fraud. The damages don’t have to be monetary. Even if they don’t go after your money they can steal your identity to commit a crime, get a fake identification, or to retain credit.
Even if they don’t get to your money, just by stealing the numbers of one’s social security is enough that belongs to someone else. That number is given to you when you are born and that’s the number you use for the rest of your life for just about everything.
It is very common for illegal immigrants to use false social security numbers. They usually just pick random digits and they end up having someone else’s numbers. They do not even have a prior knowledge of this person. This is still considered identity theft.
This is probably one the easiest thefts that can be committed. They don’t have to know you, come into your home, or steal your purse or wallet. They can make up the number, look over your shoulder in line, and look through your garbage. People don’t realize that when you get preapproved for a credit card and throw it away, they can use this and get a credit card in your name. And, of course, they can find you on the internet.
The first of the laws put into effect was the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. They then made the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act and made the punishments harsher. When a criminal uses an identity to commit a crime gets five years for stealing the identity plus two years for using the identity to commit the crime. If this identity theft is used to commit domestic or international act of terrorism it can now get up to 25 years in prison with no opportunity for parole.
Each state has its own laws on top of the mandatory felony punishment. So then an identity thief can be punished at the state or federal level.
There are many aids in place to keep us protected. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to make corrections to your credit report and these reports are only released for business reports.
In 2003, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act provides an individual with certain rights.
Fair Credit Billing Act limits how much liability on fraudulent charges to credit account.
Electronic Fund Transfer Act protects a consumer from fraud as a result of electronic transaction.
The needs of victims, government agencies, and businesses have to be put in place for federal identity theft to balance. Before 1998, identity theft was