The person becomes the victim of identity theft when someone else uses the person’s personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. An individual who commits identity theft may appropriate a name, bank account number, credit card number, social security number, or other personal information. With the increase in the amount of personal information that is exchanged on the Internet, identity theft has developed into a major concern in the United States and abroad.
Both state government and the federal government have enacted a series of statutes that are designed to deter identity theft. Many of these statutes increase penalties or expand the roles that law enforcement officials play in the investigation of identity theft. Other statutes assist victims after their identities have been stolen.