Obtaining the identity of another person through deceptive techniques is called identity theft. The identity may be used to abuse personal data and get economic benefit. Using another person's personal information is illegal in most states, and might lead to severe consequences for the perpetrator.
In most cases, perpetrators use government or financial entities to obtain personal information like social security numbers, PIN numbers or credit history. Information can also be obtained through stolen belongings like mail, wallets or credit cards. Identity theft has become a major issue because it has become easier in the digital age. Financial transactions can be made without revealing one's true identity. With the development of the internet, identity theft crimes have become more common.
Most identity thefts result in financial losses for the victim. Usually victims do not find out about the identity theft till they see something strange happening in their financial accounts. This can happen though financial transactions or loan applications. The victim's identity might also be used to perform illegal acts like purchasing drugs or ammunition.
The Identity Theft Assumption and Deterrence Act was passed in 2008 to promote the prosecution of identity theft crimes. The law made it a felony and expanded the definition to include cyber crime and extortion as well. The Act is also intended to help compensate the victims and gives them the right to claim damages.
If you have been charged with identity theft, it is advisable to contact an experienced defense attorney. You are innocent till proven guilty, and your attorney will try to make sure your rights are protected.