Identity theft is a phrase that most people use in regard to fraudulent acquisition of personal information or assets, such as stealing one’s social security number and banking credentials to make online purchases. But in reality, identity theft or fraud encompasses far more than simply using someone else’s credit card to buy pizza. In fact, the terms “identity fraud” and “identity theft” are two different crimes according to Kansas laws!
In Kansas, disobeying laws covering fake identification can result in fines up to $2,500 and/or one year in prison, as they are considered Class A or B misdemeanors. The more serious crime in fake identification is falsifying information on an official application, which is a felony. This is an example of identity fraud.
Identity Theft and Identity Fraud
Many states use the terms “identity theft” and “identity fraud” interchangeably, in Kansas they are two different crimes. The crime of identity fraud is characterized by a person doing either of the following:
- Using false information in order to obtain a document that contains personal identifying information
- Altering, counterfeiting, copying, or manufacturing a document that contains personal identifying information with the intent to deceive
For example, a person who uses someone else’s birth certificate to get a driver’s license.
Identity theft is when a person obtains, possesses, transfers, uses, sells, or buys another individual’s personal identifying information so they can:
- Use it to defraud anyone for the defendant’s benefit
- Impersonate or misrepresent the individual, causing economic or bodily harm
For example, a person who gives his friend’s name and address when pulled over by police.
Is Identity Theft a Felony?
Identity theft that results in monetary loss of over $100,000 is a level 5 felony, punishable by 31 to 136 months in prison and a fine of up to $300,000. Identity theft, as well as identity fraud, dealing with false identification documents, is a level 8 felony, punishable by seven to 23 months’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.