Overview[edit | edit source]
After a victim's identity is stolen, the primary criminal use of this information is credit card fraud. Beyond amassing charges on a victim's credit card, identity thieves may sometimes change the billing address so that the victim will not receive the bills and see the fraudulent charges, allowing the thief more time to abuse the victim's identity and credit. If a victim does not receive the bill, and therefore does not pay it, this could aversely affect the victim's credit. In addition to abusing existing credit card accounts, a thief could also open new accounts in the victim's name, incurring more charges on the victim's line of credit. These actions could in turn affect not only the victim's immediate pocketbook, but future credit as well.
Credit card fraud is criminalized at 18 U.S.C. §1029.