Identity Theft Penalties
The person who illegally stole your identity has been apprehended, so naturally you want to learn about identity theft penalties that should teach that thief a lesson. There are two federal statues that will come into play; of course, each state uses and shapes the federal laws in ways that best suit the state's agenda while still keeping in line with the federal government's rules about such matters.
The 2 major statues are:
- The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act
- FACTA which was made into law 2003. FACTA actually seems to serve as an upgrade when improvements or refinements are needed for the main Federal Act.
Information Available to Victims As the victim, you have the right to obtain copies of everything the thief used to impersonate you, including copies of applications for credit or transaction records. The business that granted the credit must provide copies of their documents for you and for any federal, state or local law enforcement agency you specify. To obtain these documents, you will have to supply proof of your identity along with a written request for the records. If the business asks specifically for a police report and/or an identity theft affidavit, you should request it from the FTC’s web site.
Eleven Million Victims in the USA More than 11 million Americans were victimized in 2009 by some type of identity theft. What happens to the criminals after they are arrested and charged with identity theft and found guilty?
Commit the crime you do the time Identity theft is, by and large, a felony if you have been convicted of the crime before and if the dollar amount rises above 500 dollars. The least of the penalties is compensating the victim for money lost. (It has been determined that it takes $808 to restore one’s identity and 175 man hours for the victim to work through the process and restore his/her good name.) Tack on attorney fees and penalties and the criminal should be paying for the crime for years to come.
Stealing Your Identity and Committing a Crime If someone steals your identity and then commits a crime afterward, they will be charged with aggravated identity theft. That carries a two-year minimum sentence without probation.
Stolen Identity Plus Terroristic Acts Now this will get that criminal about 5-25 years in prison on top of the original identity theft charges. Terroristic acts is always a big attention getter.
Phishing Scam Being found guilty of phishing brings an automatic two year prison sentence.
An Inside Job What an added insult to an identity theft injury if you discover that your manager, boss or bank teller played a part in stealing your identity. In such cases, justice is rendered when such “insiders” receive more time or penalties in addition to their original sentence.
Above and Beyond For those chronic over-achievers who manage to bring identity theft to new heights, or lows, higher fines and prison terms will be enacted, ranging from $50,00 plus five years in prison, to $100,000 plus ten years in prison.
Just Along for the Ride Too bad for you if you didn't actually commit a crime but accompanied a thief, nonetheless. In that case, you will still be punished and financially fined as if you took part in the illegal activity yourself. An accomplice is still guilty of a crime.
In conclusion, rest assured that laws are in the books and are being used against criminals convicted of identity theft. While some complain there is not enough being done, that is an argument for another time. The important consideration for victims of identity theft is knowing justice will be served if the laws are followed as outlined, because identity theft most assuredly brings penalties to the thief.