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What is identity theft in New York?

Last week we discussed an incident in which a New York man was accused of credit card fraud. Today, we are going to take a look at another type of white collar crime -- identity theft.

What is identity theft? In general, identity theft includes the illegal taking of the personal information of another, and then using that information to commit certain crimes such as fraud or theft.

Various types of information can be considered personal information. A person's name may be the first thing one thinks of when one's identity is stolen, but the taking and using of other types of information can lead to accusations of identity theft as well. This includes birthdates, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, credit card numbers, birth and death certificates and passwords, among others.

In 1998, the government addressed identity theft by passing the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, making it a federal crime. Six years later, the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act was passed by Congress. This act addressed "aggravated" identity theft and imposed harsher penalties for those convicted of committing such crimes.

This post is meant to provide only general information about identity theft. But, as this shows, identity theft is a serious crime. With the threat of incarceration, fines and restitution looming, it is important that those accused of identity theft mount a strong defense. With the right help, it is possible to attack accusations of identity theft. Evidence can be questioned and arguments can be made on the accused's behalf. By waging a strong defense, a person accused of committing identity theft can clear their name.

Source: FBI.gov, "Identity Theft Overview," accessed on March 8, 2015

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