"Increasing the criminal classification of theft of an access device and of obtaining an access device or identification documents by fraudulent means; increasing the criminal classification for certain cases of fraudulent use of an access device; and providing for an effective date. "
"I ask for your consideration and support of HB 131 to take a step towards meaningful deterrence and punishment for such crimes ..."
- Rep. Stoltze
Identity theft is on the increase in Alaska and our country as a whole. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that identity theft was up 33 percent in 2003. The State of Alaska ranks second in the number of complaints per 100,000 people.
These types of theft average $500; however, this does not take into consideration the countless hours a victim may spend tracking down and stopping the imposter, as well as time and legal costs to repair credit ratings and fight collection efforts. These changes would bring the penalties for such crimes closer in line with federal criminal laws, which provide for as much as 15 years in prison for similar crimes.
The provisions of HB 131:
Increase the penalty from a class A misdemeanor to a class C felony for:
Theft of an access device, such as a credit card or bank account number.
The crime of fraudulent use of an access device if the value of the property or services obtained is $50 or more.
The crime of obtaining an access device or identification document by fraudulent means.
I ask for your consideration and support of HB 131 to take a step towards meaningful deterrence and punishment for such crimes, which can impact all Alaskans.