Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Identity Theft Legislation and other Identity Theft topics.
Thanks to the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, identity theft and fraud is recognized as a federal crime. Violations of the federal crime are investigated by federal law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General.
Additionally, many states have laws recognizing identity theft as a crime, but the classification and associated punishment may differ from state to state. Below is the U.S. code sentencing classification.
Class A felony: life imprisonment, or if the maximum penalty is death
Class B felony: 25 years or more
Class C felony: less than 25 years but 10 or more years
Class D felony: less than 10 years but five or more years
Class E felony: l ess than five years but more than one year
Class A misdemeanor: one year or less but more than six months
Class B misdemeanor: six months or less but more than 30 days
Class C misdemeanor: thirty days or less but more than five days
Infraction: five days or less, or if no imprisonment is authorized
To find out what classification applies to convictions for identity theft in your state, contact your state Attorney General or local consumer protection agency.
For a list of state Attorney General offices, visit www.naag.org.
For a brief overview of individual state statutes, visit: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/lis/privacy/idt-statutes.htm.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|