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Identity Theft and Your Personal Security

Financial ID Theft – Financial identity theft occurs when a third party illegally and without consent retrieves another person’s personal and financial details for the sole purpose of using it to their gain. It involves theft of the person’s money, as well as damage to their credit rating and financial reputations.

Criminal ID Theft – In cases of criminal identity theft, a third party uses the stolen details of another person and presents them to legal or law enforcement authorities if questioned during an arrest or possible investigation.

Identity Cloning – Identity cloning takes identity theft one step further; perpetrators take on the entire identity of another person, going as far as to pose as them at work and in their personal lives.

Business or Commercial Identity Theft – Business identity theft occurs when a business’s identity and financial details are used for fraudulent purposes and transactions. It can greatly impact the reputation of the business as well as that of the business owners.

Laws Concerning Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud

  • The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act – This is a federal act and covers unlawful use of a person’s identity or their identification details.
  • State Statues Concerning Identity Theft – Find the laws that apply in your state by browsing through this full list of identity theft statues across the country.
  • Expanding the Laws – Learn what the U.S. government is doing to combat identity theft and how they are increasing the number of services they offer to victims.
  • Identity Theft Legal Definitions – Identity theft is officially recognized as a crime in the United States and its scope is defined by several parameters.
  • Identity Theft Legal Proceedings – Identity theft can be punishable by up to fifteen years in prison as well as a fine and other penalties.
  • State Laws on Security Freezes – There are several different laws across the country that govern the procedure of freezing and barring access to an individual’s credit file in the event of fraudulent activity.
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (PDF) – This act makes certain allowances and procedures to ensure that people can modify their credit report if a serious mistake has been made.
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act – Passed in 2003, this act makes it possible for consumers to acquire a free credit report upon request once per year from one of the three main credit reporting bureaus.
  • Fair Credit Billing Act – Under this law, consumers are safeguarded from erroneous or unjust credit billing and may dispute suspicious charges on their credit card bills.
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (PDF) – Debt collectors are not allowed to use any practices that could be construed as deceptive in the process of collecting any unpaid debts.
  • Electronic Fund Transfer Act – According to this law, consumers are protected under a set of regulations and rights regarding electronic transactions and other fund transfers.
  • Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act (PDF) – Offenders are subject to longer terms of imprisonment under this law, especially for those who use identity theft for acts of terrorism.
  • Red Flags Rules – To help detect and stop fraudulent activity, all financial institutions, such as banks, are required to use a set of regulators to check if a client’s account activity or transactions seem out of the ordinary.
  • Driver’s Privacy Protection Act – Owners of a driver’s license are protected through this act that states that the information on their record falls within certain privacy boundaries and should not be disclosed without their express consent.
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act – Students as well as their parents have a right to the protection of their personal information and records; these details may only be disclosed for legitimate reasons.
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – Several institutions, such as banks and the Securities Commission are required to notify clients of their privacy policy every year and allow them to opt out of having their information disclosed to other parties.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – The privacy of personal information and records belonging to medical patients are protected within this law through a number of regulations and precautions.
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards – Any company or organization that accepts payments via credit card is required to follow certain security standards to protect customers’ credit card information.
  • Laws for Fraud Committed Online – New laws have been developed and amended to answer the issues of new types of crimes that develop as technology advances.
  • Legislative Solutions Regarding Identity Theft – In recent years, government institutions have passed additional laws as well as penalties to respond to the growing issue of identity theft.
  • Laws Governing Identity Theft – Browse through a collection of resources dedicated to the legislation of identity theft and related issues in the U.S.
  • Business Identity Theft Laws – Even small businesses are protected against identity theft and fraudulent financial activities that exploit their name and resources.

Support Groups and Organizations for Identity Theft Victims

  • The FTC Department for Identity Theft Victims – Learn how to prevent or deal with identity theft with a number of helpful resources supplied by the Federal Trade Commission.
  • U.S.P.S. ID Theft Investigations – Anyone who suspects that their mailing address is being wrongfully used or changed can request an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • The S.S.A. Fraud Hotline – The Social Security Admission has set up a dedicated hotline for victims to report details of fraud.
  • The IRS ID Theft Sector – The IRS can investigate and help people who have had their Social Security Number wrongly used or stolen. They also supply several helpful resources on the subject.
  • The U.S. Justice Department – The Department of Justice supplies a long list of preventative measures against identity theft as well as advice, contact information and additional resources for victims.
  • ID Safety – ID Safety acts across the United States to help protect civilians and consumers and also to better educate investigators and police officers about identity theft.
  • Internet Crime Complaint Center – Complaints related to online identity fraud can be reported to this organization that is partnered with the FBI.
  • Stay Safe Online – The National Cyber Security Alliance developed a dedicated website to provide information to people and victims about identity theft. They also include several educational videos and free online security resources.
  • Rental Housing Identity Fraud (PDF) – Victims of identity fraud in relation to housing rental schemes can find further information on how to proceed with this downloadable pamphlet.