Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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Criminal Identity Theft: The Consequences Of Being Somebody Else

By Amanda Randell
Published: Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Identity theft can be defined as any measure taken to try and be someone who you are not. Someone who is a victim of identity theft can face severe consequences. Identity theft can be in several forms, one of which is criminal identity theft.

Criminal identity theft happens when an accused has given out someone else’s name, date of birth, driver’s license, or social security number to the person who is investigating him or her. This kind of identity theft can also make use of counterfeit id, or stolen legitimate papers of that person to claim to be that person.

It is often that a person uses another’s driver license or any set of identification to claim to be someone else to a law enforcement officer. The impostor could also simply cite a name of a person he knows, a friend or relative, and claim to be that person upon arrest. These kinds of arrest are usually traffic violations and may require for the impostor to show up in court. However, when he does not show up, he is issued a bench warrant and the person due for arrest will be the one the impostor claims to be.

When this happens, the accused that is in the first place innocent is persuaded to appear in court and sentenced to jail time. It can go both ways, the now accused might have no idea that he was used to vouch for another’s crime or he may have been informed about the crime he would face, either way he is still arrested.

Another possibility is that the impostor does appear in court. He pleads guilty and is sentenced to county jail. The impostor would provide a different name with a set of information about the person he claims to be. The name is recorded in a country wide data base and usually spread across other crime investigation data bases. Thus, it creates a record for a person who had no idea of committing the crime.

Victims of identity theft usually are not signed up identity theft protection services. These victims who are unaware of being used for identity theft would sometimes only find out when they have been rejected or fired from employment. It is because of the criminal records that certain companies would not trust you to be their employee. A person will later learn that he is a victim once he obtains the reason of being rejected or fired.

Unfortunately, the victim does not have the ability to clear his records completely. The victim could only minimize the damage done but the records will stay in justice computer systems.

Identity theft prevention can be done by keeping a detailed log of all the conversations involved in the arrest. Make sure that the case and conversations are done in writing, especially when you’re clearing your name. Keep copies of these documents as evidence and make sure that they are sent through air mail and not e-mail because it may not be that reliable for containing confidential information.

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