What is identity theft?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 2, 2012

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Identity theft is the crime of obtaining the personal identifying information of another person and using that information to obtain property or information to which he is not entitled, and doing so without the permission of the person whose personal identifying information is used. This is a very rapidly growing area of white collar crime, is international in scope, and is often done with sophisticated computer hacking techniques, but can also be accomplished by simply surfing trash cans. Shredders are good protection against identity theft. Penalties vary from state to state, but many identity theft offenses are felonies which carry state prison terms.

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