Identity theft first started around 100 years ago. However, it became an epidemic right before the turn of the century. Some sort of identity theft punishment was needed to help curb the increase in the amount of identity theft cases. The laws have worked in some cases, but haven’t put enough thieves behind bars. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to catch an identity thief. To match the victim’s losses to the handy-work of an individual thief is not an easy process, unless the thief was careless at some point.
The first of any identity theft laws were passed by Congress in 1998 and called the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. Under this law, anyone who is found guilty of identity theft can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. The next important legislation for identity theft happened in 2004, called the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act. This act allows prosecutors to tack on extra time to serve if a thief commits a crime in conjunction with a stolen identity. To learn more about the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, click here.
The reason behind the 2004 act was the government wanted stronger penalties for identity theft because credit companies were hit with huge losses because of the increase in crimes committed online. Identity theft punishment was finally at high enough levels to give the thieves something to think about. Unfortunately, this did not make enough thieves stop committing this crime.
Some of the reasons identity theft criminal prosecution does not take place very often are delayed reporting, crossed jurisdictions, no paper trail, and failure to report. It takes exceptional reporting by the victim and a bit of luck finding the thief just to start the prosecution of the individual.
If you have been a victim of identity theft and want to get some of your money back while making sure the thief sees some identity theft punishment for his/her actions, consider hiring an identity theft lawyer. The lawyer would mainly work for you getting your life back in order. The lawyer would do the writing to your credit agencies and help gather evidence. The lawyer should definitely takes some pressure off the victim, but unfortunately, will cost a pretty penny.