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Any offense of stealing someone's identifying information with the intention of using that knowledge fraudulently is deemed to be identity theft. Examples of personal information includes: banking account numbers, credit card numbers and social Security Numbers, passwords, patient records and usernames. False application of that information may likely include: acquiring loans using the victim's name, pilfering money from financial accounts or using existing credit and creating new credit accounts.
Identity theft is mainly committed by well structured crime rings or distressed individuals with an opportunity. Most of the states in America have enacted laws that carry heavy penalties and are meant to cub this ever increasing menace. Examples of such states which have taken stern measures are Mississippi, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, Arizona, Alabama and Florida.
In order for the identity theft laws to be adequately implemented in Massachusetts selling organizations must be compliant to the laws such as to implement information security programs that conform with current identity theft regulations.
The identity theft regulations in Massachusetts involve organizations that own, maintain, store, license or have access to personal information, including state identification numbers, financial account information and social security numbers about Massachusetts populace. Under this amended regulations, businesses and individuals who under this regulations should evaluate present security measures and put into practice information security programs on or before 1 January, 2010.
This deadline was set based on the knowledge which indicated that many businesses were having difficulty complying with the new regulations following the recent economic pressures.
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This new deadline shows that the office of consumer affairs and business regulation (OCABR) is ready to give businesses extra time to implement better information security regulations, and also the regulators want most of the affected businesses to have met the new security standards on or before 2010. For the affected businesses, the deadline doesn't mean that they should delay their compliance and implementation efforts. A majority of the businesses will need the extra time to examine existing threats to security and implement necessary physical, electronic and administrative security measures.
Identify theft is such a large crime as it involves millions of people in the United States alone who are victimized each year? It appears like the more fanatical with security our society is, the less secure we are. It is ironical that in the past days when you were identified by your good signature and name, identity theft didn't exist but in these days you need a number or card for almost everything, this crime is an epidemic. Why? One may ask. It is far easier to steal a number, and more difficult to get caught. Add this to that the fact that penalties are fairly weak and throw in a group of desperate individuals and you have a recipe for a crime wave.
Once a person is a victim of identity theft, their life comes crumbling down and it may take years to reverse the damage caused to one's credit rating. It may take a lifetime to undo the damage of discovering that your name was linked with crimes you had no idea of nor committed. All in all, the trouble associated with the identity theft victims is not an enviable position.
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