Identity theft laws exist to protect the public from the harmful effects of identity theft. However, no matter how much the government seeks to help, it is important to remember that even the best laws cannot stop thieves from stealing identities.
Thus, today, the trend in legislation is geared toward preventing identity theft and assisting identity theft victims in recovering their assets.
The Identity Theft Victims Assistance Act of 2002 streamlined the process for identity theft victims to acquire business records related to their case.
The information they receive helps them to assist law enforcement officials in tracking the source of the theft and to set their identity straight.
This law also requires credit reporting agencies to disregard negative credit report information related to identity theft.
The Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2001 was intended to discourage identity theft by raising the length of sentences given for the crime.
Aggravated identity thefts, which are committed for the purpose of additional serious crimes like firearms offenses or immigration violations, were particularly targeted by this act.
Those who commit identity theft for the purpose of terrorist activities receive an additional five years of jail time according to this legislation.
The most recent legislation, known as the Credit Freeze Law, has been adopted by every state except three (Michigan, Missouri, and Alabama), and has established the use of a credit freeze.
A credit freeze can be placed on your credit report as soon as you suspect that your personal information has been stolen. It is effective because it prevents any new lines of credit from being opened, stopping thieves from being able to use your name to take out a loan.
Individual states have their own identity theft laws, which vary depending on the particular preferences of state governments. These state laws work in conjunction with the national laws to create effective prevention and victim assistance strategies.
To learn more about how your state handles identity theft, take a look at the state's posted legislation related to this crime.
If you have been a victim of identity theft, you do not have to suffer in silence. Identity theft laws are in place to help you. Taking advantage of them is in your best interest.
For those who have not experienced identity theft, it would be wise to learn as much as you can about the preventative strategies suggested by both state and national sources.