Uploaded on Feb 5, 2010
Under the federal Identity Theft Act, a criminal offense is committed if a
person knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of
identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or
abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or
that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law The
relevant section of this legislation is codified at 18 U.S.C. §
1028(a)(7)(fraud and related activity in connection with identification
documents and information). According to an analysis of the new law by
the United States Sentencing Commission:3
• Before passage of the 1998 act, the unauthorized use or transfer of identity
documents was illegal under title 18 of the U.S. Code, section 1028—which
included subsections (a)(1) through (a)(6). The unauthorized use of credit
cards, personal identification numbers, automated teller machine codes,
and other electronic access devices was illegal under another section of
the U.S. Code—that is, 18 U.S.C. § 1029 (fraud and related activity in
connection with access devices).
• The addition of subsection (a)(7) to section 1028 expanded the definition
of means of identification to include such information as SSN and other
government identification numbers, dates of birth, and unique biometric
data (e.g., fingerprints), as well as electronic access devices and routing
codes used in the financial and telecommunications sectors.
• Under the Identity Theft Act, the new definition of means of identification
includes prior statutory definitions of identification documents.
According to the United States Sentencing Commission, a key impact is to
make the proscriptions of the new identity theft law applicable to a wide
range of offense conduct, which can be independently prosecuted under
numerous existing statutes. That is, any unauthorized use of means of
identification can now be charged either as a violation of the new law or in
conjunction with other federal statutes.
To Your Success In Remaining a Non-Victim,
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