The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act

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        <p>Terry Rogan was seized five times for allegedly committing
robbery and murder that he did not commit. His problem began in 1982 when
a certain convict named McKandes break out from the Alabama State Prison.
<br>Unfortunately, this man happened to have a copy of Terry Rogan's
birth certificate. Eventually, McKandes was able to obtain a driver's
license and other identifying documents in Rogan's name. <br><br>He was
still using Rogan's identity when he committed a robbery and a murder on
the same year. An arrest warrant was issued for Rogan's arrest and
information pertaining to him was placed into the National Crime
Information Center (NCIC). A national criminal information database
alerts all police department in the United States on outstanding
warrants.<br><br>Eventually, Rogan was seized in Michigan for the crime
of robbery and murder committed by McKandes in California.
<br><br>However, upon discovering that Rogan's fingerprints and other
physical features did not match those records in NCIC, he was released.
His name was also cleared of any criminal act.<br><br>However, the
problem does not end there. He was still arrested four more times from
1983 to 1984 for another criminal act he allegedly committed. After
finding out that it was not him, he was released and the issue was
finally resolved.<br><br>It was a clear indication that Terry Rogan is a
victim of identity theft. The perpetrator obtained a copy of his birth
certificate, which contains the vital important information about him.
The perpetrator secured a driver's license in the name of his
victim.<br><br>Identity theft is a crime, which everybody is frightened
about. Who will ever think that someone can portray himself as you?
<br><br>He can acquire important personal information about you by any
means-mails, credit statements, and even in the Internet, particularly if
you have a personal website.<br><br>According to state and federal
prosecutors, identity theft will be the hottest crime committed merely
because of the advancement in technology. Moreover, it is also the cause
of financial losses in the business and social security industry.
<br><br>According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 93 percent of
the arrests made by the United States Secret Service-Financial Crimes
Division in the year 1995 are all involved identity theft and caused
individual and institutional losses of $442 million.<br><br>Its number is
still increasing to 94 percent and losses netting to $450 million in the
year 1996. Although the percentage of identity theft is still the same in
the year 1997, the net loss related to identity theft crime almost
doubled to nearly $745 million.<br><br>To control the damage done by
identity theft crime, the United States Congress passed the Identity
Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act and later on signed by then President
William Jefferson Clinton into a law on October 30, 1998. <br><br>It made
the identity theft a federal crime to "knowingly transfer or use, without
legal authority; a means of using the identification of another
individual with the intention of committing or aiding any unlawful
activity that constitutes a violation of Federal state law."<br><br>First
important change made by this Act is making the actual theft or use of a
person's information a federal crime. <br><br>Before this Act, federal
law only defines the deceptive creation and the use or transfer of
identifying documents and not the actual theft or the criminal use of an
individual's personal information. <br><br>Since it is the criminal use
of the victim's identity causes majority of his/her problems, the Act
clearly defined it as a new federal crime. The development is much
welcomed because information age is still developing where all types of
personal identification can be obtained from the Internet.<br><br>Second
is the definition of punishment for this newly created crime. Here is the
major information stated under this provision:<br><br>• If the act
involves the transfer or use of one or more personal information of
another person and the offense enables the perpetrator to obtain anything
of value amounting to $1,000 or more during any one year period, the
convicted criminal will be fined or imprisoned for not more than three
years.<br><br>• If the act involves unauthorized use of another
person's birth certificate, driver's license, and other identifying
documents issued under the authority of the United States, the convicted
criminal will be fined or imprisoned for not more than fifteen
years.<br><br>• If the above-mentioned offenses are committed to
facilitate a drug trafficking crime or terrorist activities, the
perpetrator will be fined or imprisoned up to 20 and 25 years,
respectively.<br><br>Last is the aid to individual victims of identity
theft. The Act created a centralize complaint and consumer education
service for the victims and directed development and maintenance of such
service to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). <br><br>Complaints are
entered into the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, a database designed
to aid law enforcement agencies in combating identity theft.<br><br>The
FTC is also ask to assist identity theft victims in resolving credit
problems arise from the illegal use of their credit funds by
perpetrators. <br><br>By the enactment of Identity Theft and Assumption
Deterrence Act, all of us are now provided with additional protection to
avoid identity theft. In case you are still unsatisfied, you may opt to
get a lawyer to explain further to you other provisions of this Act.</p>

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