Sussex County Delaware

Identity Theft
Legislation Law

Identity Theft ...

Law to Crack Down
on 'Identity Thieves'

A bill designed to crack down on identity thieves became law on Thursday, May 18, 2000, when Delaware Gov. Thomas R. Carper signed House Bill 437 sponsored by Rep. Shirley Price (D-Millville).

Rep. Price introduced the legislation to crack down on criminals who steal identities to commit financial fraud and protect Delawareans from those acts.

Price said thousands of dollars are lost each year to criminals who assume the identities of others by conducting illegal transactions in the victims' names and using their private financial information.

The new law establishes a new felony level crime called "Theft of Identity" and punishes identity criminals.

"Too many Delawareans are victimized by thefts of identity," said Gov. Carper. "Today we are sending a loud and clear message to 'identity thieves': fraudulent practices and rip-offs will not be tolerated in Delaware. If we can prevent even one consumer from experiencing the cost and frustration of a dishonest transaction, this measure will have been well worth our effort."

Identity thieves strike their victims in a number of ways, including:

  • "shoulder surfing" at ATMs to obtain PIN numbers;
  • swiping copies of credit card receipts and using credit card numbers;
  • stealing mail from victims' mailboxes;
  • assuming the identity of victims after stealing their wallets.

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