Criminal identity theft occurs when someone steals your identity and then commits crimes using your name and Social Security number.  The problems encountered by someone whose identity has been stolen by a criminal who then commits crimes in the name of the identity theft victim are tremendous.   Victims of criminal identity theft have been arrested for crimes they never committed and often have had difficulty having the crimes, committed by someone who stole their identity, removed from their records.  A faulty criminal record can also affect your ability to get a job or various benefits. Recently Kristen Parr spent four nights and three days in jail in Indiana accused of automobile theft until it was determined that an identity thief had used Parr’s identity to steal a car after taking it for a test drive and never returning it to West Main Auto Sales.  According to Parr, her purse containing her driver’s license and other identification was stolen in February.  In March someone used her license to test drive and steal a car from an automobile dealership in Indianapolis and in July, the identity thief committed the same crime at another automobile dealership in Lawrence, Indiana.

TIPS

If you find that you are a victim of criminal identity theft, you should hire a lawyer and contact the police as well as the District Attorney’s office to straighten out the matter.  File a report indicating that you are the victim of identity theft.  It will be necessary for you to confirm your true identity through photographs and fingerprints. In addition, show law enforcement authorities your driver’s license, passport or any other identification that you might have that contains your photograph.  In the case of the Scamicide reader’s grandson, the identity thief is incarcerated in a state far from her.  In situations like that you should go to your local police and ask them to confirm your identity and send the information to law enforcement in the state or states where the criminal identity thief’s criminal violations occurred.

Get a letter from the District Attorney explaining the situation to have available if you are ever stopped for a traffic violation and your record is checked.  A few states have Identity Theft Passport programs through which anyone whose identity has been stolen by someone who uses it to commit crimes can, upon proving their identity, receive an Identity Theft Passport that protects them and confirms their true identity .  Even if your state does not have an Identity Theft Passport program, get a letter from the law enforcement agency that arrested the person using your name known as a “clearance letter” which indicates that you have not committed the crimes which were done by the identity thief who used your name.  Keep this document with you at all times.

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