February 22, 2002
INTERNET THEFT OF CREDIT CARD NUMBERS
By: Daniel Duffy, Principal Analyst
You asked if the state received any complaints about the Internet theft of credit card numbers and their subsequent illegal use.
The Office of the Attorney General reports that it has received three such complaints. The Banking Department reports that it has not received any.
Under state law, obtaining identifying information and using it for an illegal purpose is the crime of identity theft. The Judicial Department reports that there were 13 cases in fiscal year 2000-2001.
The relatively low number of reported complaints may be caused by the fact that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actively enforces identity theft law. Identity thefts can be reported to 1-877-IDTHEFT or http: //www. consumer. gov/idtheft/. An FTC report, ID Theft, When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name, is attached.
State law makes it a class D felony for anyone to intentionally get another person's personal identifying information and use it for an unlawful purpose, including to get or attempt to get credit, goods, services, or medical information. To be guilty of the crime, the actor must acquire and use the information without the subject's authority or consent. The act defines "personal identifying information" as motor vehicle operator's license, Social Security, employee identification, demand deposit, savings account, or credit card numbers or someone's mother's maiden name (CGS § 53a-129a). A class D felony is punishable by one to five years in prison, a fine of up to $ 5,000, or both.