The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act

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Internet identity theft is a serious danger in our world today, victims of this crime have had their lives ruined and in some cases have ended up in jail because of crimes committed by an identity thief. Internet identity theft is “the criminal act of fraudulently obtaining the personal information belonging to another individual within the realm of a computer or electronic setting.”(1) Throughout the past several years there have been several laws passed to combat and keep up with this ever evolving crime, those laws include The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, and The Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act of 2008. In addition to these, several states have pending legislation out there to either pass new state laws or revise current ones. In this paper, theses laws and the pending legislation in some of those states will be discussed in detail. Before 1998, identity theft crimes were charged under statutes that dated back to the 19th century. These were called false personation statutes. False personation can be defined as assuming the identity of someone else in order to personally benefit or to keep from paying an expense.(2) Obviously these statutes were very outdated and needed to address more current threats of identity theft that were not around when they were written. In 1998, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, this law featured four major details; identity theft became a

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