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Identity Theft Crimes

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), almost 18 million Americans were victims of identity theft crimes in 2014.

In fact, the most common kind of identity theft during this year was the attempted unauthorized use of existing financial accounts. Identity theft crimes are very serious, but there are actually different ways that criminals attempt to misrepresent their victims.


This crime is usually committed by individuals who lack social security numbers or criminals trying to hide their felony infractions. Anyone who officially works for a business must fill out an I-9 and W-4 form to receive their salary and pay taxes. Social security numbers must be written on these forms. Some criminals will use their victims’ social security number in order to secure a job, get paid and avoid paying taxes. This is because the employer will report the victim’s social security number to the IRS, so the victim will end up owing the IRS taxes for revenue that they never actually earned. If this occurs, victims should first contact the IRS and local police in order to report the identity theft. After the crime has been documented, they should contact the company and report the crime.

Criminal Processing

Career criminals who get caught may face severe penalties, such as life sentences, but even first-time criminals are scared of going to jail for a few days. As a result, all of these criminals may impersonate another person when they are processed into the jail. As technology improves the ability of law enforcement organizations to track criminals, this type of criminal fraud is becoming more common. For example, many of these career criminals will be familiar with a few target victims. After they are booked into jail under the victim’s personal information, they will most likely be released. Although the bail bonds process is designed for accuracy and transparency, experienced criminals may successfully skip bail and move to a different location. Law enforcement may request a warrant to go after the innocent victim, who may be arrested and booked in jail as a criminal. The victim may have to battle the courts to have their criminal record erased.

Driver’s License

This type of identity theft requires that thief to alter the stolen ID or sell it to someone who looks like the real owner. The criminal with a fake driver’s license can then avoid any and all traffic fines related to things like speeding or drunk driving. For example, when the criminal is pulled over by the police, they will willingly share their fake identify and then simply discard the ID. They will not show up for court, so the police will be looking for the victim. Because the victim’s driving record includes these driving infractions, their insurance rates may rise or they may be denied new car insurance. In the worst case scenario, they may temporarily have their license revoked or suspended until they can prove their innocence.


The most well-known reason for stealing a person’s identify is for direct financial gain. A criminal may take out a loan, purchase a vehicle or even obtain a credit card in their victim’s name accumulate debts. Sophisticated career criminals may even establish a full identity or apply for a mortgage in the victim’s name. Credit card fraud is the most common identity theft crime because it is relatively easy to apply for financial services online. Once obtained, the criminal can simply purchase items online without ever having their ID checked by a cashier. Because these crimes are so common, the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, make it relatively easy to file complaints and correct credit scores.

In closing, medical identity thefts are on the rise because criminals need insurance and access to medical care like everyone else. These criminals use the victim’s identity to make seek medical attention, make false claims and obtain prescription drugs.

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