Increasing the Penalties for Identity Theft
WHEREAS, the theft of an individual’s identity (name, address, social security number, etc.) is a growing problem in the United States, costing citizens and commercial businesses millions of dollars through credit card fraud and other criminal activity each year; and
WHEREAS, with the growing use of modern electronics in today’s society, more personal, unsecured information is available, making an individual’s identify more susceptible to theft; and
WHEREAS, thousands of man hours are wasted by law enforcement every year as the result of criminal defendants misidentifying themselves; and
WHEREAS, there is an epidemic of cases in which the victim of such theft suffers long standing harm to his credit worthiness in addition to actual monetary loss; and
WHEREAS, obtaining and using personal identifying information should be a crime if it is done (1) without the authorization of the person whose identity was obtained and used (2) with the intent to obtain a benefit. The bill should specify the unlawful benefits as follows: fraudulently obtaining or attempting to obtain money, credit, goods or services, or avoiding the payment of a debt or other legal obligation or avoiding prosecution for a crime in the name of the other person without that person’s consent; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police calls upon all state legislatures to create a law that criminalizes and/or increases the penalties of existing laws that address obtaining of any personal identifying information pertaining to another person and using that information, or assisting another person in using that information, to pretend to be that person.