What is Identity Theft?

According to the Federal Trade Commission identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft. The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.
Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit.
Continue reading “What is Identity Theft?”

The Fraud Act 2006

On 15 January 2007, the Fraud Act 2006 came into force and created three ways of committing a new offence of fraud:

  • Fraud by false representation
  • Fraud by failing to disclose information
  • Fraud by abuse of position

In each case, the defendant’s conduct must be dishonest with the intention of making a gain, or must cause a loss (or the risk of a loss) to another person or individual. Crucially, no actual gain or loss needs to be proved – the fraud might have been unsuccessful or it was stopped before it could take place. These offences are ‘triable either way’ and can be tried in the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court, with a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment.

The fraud offences have a wide scope in that that they can be committed by a person outside of England and Wales. If you are accused of committing a fraud offence under the Fraud Act outside of this country, it is crucial that you take specialist advice, including advice on the issue of jurisdiction. Continue reading “The Fraud Act 2006”