With the public emergence and worldwide explosion of the internet, Identity theft has become one of the most rapidly increasing crimes. What was once a personal crime requiring criminals to have some form of contact with the victim, if nothing more than rummaging through the trash, can now be done from as close as next door or as far away as across the world. No one is exempt from the possibility that they could be a victim. Identity theft has advanced so rapidly that government and law enforcement agencies have not been able to keep up with new legislature. Many states still do not view Identity theft as a crime. It is the victim who has to prove fraud exists. The judicial system that currently exists in this country states that any one accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. This is not the case with Identity theft. These people are considered guilty until such time as they can prove their innocence.
One of the problems encountered in the ongoing battle against Identity theft is that at this time no standard definition currently exists. Identity is defined by Merriam Webster on-line as the distinguishing character or personality of an individual identification; the condition of being the same with something described or asserted. ie establish the identity of stolen goods. Meriam Webster on-line also defines Theft as: the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. The best explanation of Identity theft was by one web site which defines it as:
Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone's identifying information in order to impersonate them and commit various crimes in that person's name. Besides basic information like name, address and telephone number, identity thieves look for social insurance numbers, driver's license numbers, credit card and/or bank account numbers, as well as bank cards, telephone calling... [continues]
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(2005, 11). Identity Theft. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Identity-Theft-70472.html
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