June 23, 2024


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The Villainy Saga of Identity Theft – Prevention of Identity Theft in the Post Internet Era

Identity Theft
Image Credits &#8211 Jack Teagle

Id theft is when one particular works by using another’s one of a kind identification variables these kinds of as title, Aadhar card variety, credit card facts, and other federal government-recognized identification to dedicate fraud. The information collected by fraudsters can be employed for a variety of kinds of crimes these kinds of as using funds out of the individual’s credit rating card or bank account devoid of their awareness, using the facts to benefit from the individual’s healthcare treatment solutions, and obtaining the tax return total of the unique to title a several popular types. The earliest kind of identity theft was murder, the information gathered from the deceased unique was then utilized by the fraudster to escape his life’s burdens and direct a new life with a new identity. At the exact time, other historical techniques ended up also pick-pocketing to come across information about one’s wallet.

This was effortless in the earlier as the registry of individuals&#8217 unique identification elements even images weren’t saved. On the other hand, the later forms of identification theft happened as a result of dumpster diving which intended that the fraudsters searched the trash of men and women to discover any private facts. This grew to become common due to the incorrect disposal of an individual’s sensitive documents. Nonetheless, the introduction of the world wide web manufactured it much easier for fraudsters to steal individual data as a result of a variety of viruses and adware software program. Therefore, cybercrime and identification theft have become a lot more widespread than at any time just before. 

Varieties of Id Theft

Felony Identification Theft

This sort of identification theft requires a man or woman billed with a criminal offense utilizing a different individual’s particular determining info to escape the rates. 

Youngster Identification Theft

This kind of identity theft occurs when a minor’s individual information and facts is stolen and applied for availing credit score or personal loan amenities. It can also be utilized for procuring credit history playing cards less than the small&#8217s individual information and facts.  

Economical Id Theft

Economic identification theft occurs when the individual’s lender account details is stolen and utilized for transferring money to an additional account, availing personal loan amenities, and so on. 

Healthcare Id Theft

The personal info of an person is stolen by the fraudster to avail health care gains this sort of as health care insurance policy. This can also be utilized to procure the prescription drugs or medicines recommended beneath the individual’s title. This type of id theft gets to be an difficulty in the future of the specific as it will become a aspect of his/her clinical history. 

Alibi Identification Theft

Fraudsters commonly both produce a duplicate identity or forge the deceased person’s paperwork to get their Community distribution source possibly for their gain or to offer it in the black sector. 

Artificial Id Theft

This style of identification theft involves combining genuine individual details of an person with pretend particulars to make a pretend doc to avail of loans, credit playing cards, procure a phony driving license, etc. 

Id Cloning

In identity cloning, an individual’s identification is stolen by the fraudster and utilized to pose as the unique himself. Immigrants and terrorists commit such fraud to conceal their correct identities. This form of identity theft mostly doesn’t contain any financial gain to the fraudster. 

In the subsequent sections enable us glance into the provisions in location in India for identity theft and cybercrime when also discussing what we as an person can keep track of to avert identity theft. 

Authorized Implications of Identity Theft

Identity Theft
Graphic Credits &#8211 Anthony Morell

Identity theft is an unlawful act that has specific sections that ascribe a penalty and or compensation for the exact. Area 43 of the Facts Technologies (IT) Act, 2000 talks about the penalty and payment billed for injury prompted to computer systems, laptop methods, and pc networks. Part 66 of the IT Act is made up of punishments for numerous computer-relevant offenses. Below the exact Act, nonetheless, Section 66C specially states the punishment for identity theft, which is, imprisonment of up to three yrs and will be liable for a wonderful of up to rupees 1 lakh.

The Indian Penal Code less than theft i.e., Area 378 deals with only movable and tangible assets and home thus, earning identification theft not appropriate within the ambit of the definition of theft under this part, on the other hand, number of sections in the IPC browse with the IT Act permits us to seek legal remedy by way of the punishments provided in the IPC. Sections 464 and 465 which deal with bogus documentation and punishment for the similar can be considered a provision made in opposition to identification theft. Part 416 to 419 of the IPC talks about the offense of dishonest by personation and cheating for wrongful gains while stating their respective punishments. Permit us glance at a number of instances to understand the extent of digital fraud and the concern with the existing law for identification theft. 

The CBI v. Arif Azim scenario, also regarded as the Sony Sambandh case, included a 24-yr-aged boy who posed himself as an NRI to get a set of colour Tv and cordless headphones. Sony experienced only just lately introduced a new plan referred to as Sony Sambandh in which NRIs could order and send out appliances on the net to their buddies and loved ones residing in India. The defendant was a connect with centre employee who obtained obtain to an global credit score card and posed as Barbara Campa to buy the merchandise and have them sent to him. Even so, the credit history card proprietor complained about the unauthorized invest in, and the fraud was brought to light-weight.

The courts held that as the defendant was a first-time convict and was a young male, he should be issued a lenient statement and remaining with a a person-calendar year probation. The circumstance recognized that the provisions of the IPC can be applied in instances of id theft. 

In the National Affiliation of Program and Company Organizations (NASSCOM) v. Ajay Sood & Some others, the defendants had been a recruitment and headhunting agency that posed by themselves as the plaintiff to get personalized information by sending e-mails in the name of the plaintiff. The investigation brought to light two tricky disks used by the defendants to deliver out email messages under bogus names working with the NASSCOM trademark. This is the very first situation in which the courts declared that phishing is an illegal act though there is nonetheless to be definitive legislation for the similar.

The courts outlined phishing as, An act which amounts to phishing, below the Indian regulation would be a misrepresentation manufactured in the system of trade leading to confusion as to the source and origin of the e-mail triggering immense damage not only to the consumer but even to the person whose name, identification or password is misused. The courts held that the defendants have been to pay 16 crore rupees and purchased the seizure of the challenging disks located on the defendant’s premises. This scenario lays down a precedent for cybercrime circumstances as phishing was commonly known as a fraudulent contact or e-mail despatched out to folks to acquire entry to individual details, while this circumstance showed that corporations could also fraudulently pose on their own as a third occasion for the exact same.  

Concerns with the Current Regulation

The most notable issue with the legislation is that there is no conclusive provision or legislation for identity theft or cybercrime. The Details Technologies Act, 2000 by way of the 2008 amendment included id theft as an illegal act and produced other amendments but it hasn’t nevertheless conclusively outlined what constitutes the identification functions of an person that the Act seeks to safeguard. On the other hand, although the Act defines sensitive personalized data it is not exhaustive of the purpose of Section 66(C) in specific. It is also to be observed that the punishments provided in the Act are not sufficient to ensure that the convict would not commit the crime yet again i.e., it is not punitive to induce the convict to end electronic fraud.

The Act in Segment 66(C), which specials with identification theft, states that the higher limit of damages is a person lakh rupees and imprisonment only is up to 3 decades. Looking at the sum that the convict defrauds persons via the digital room, the quantity of punitive damages is not a sensible value as viewed in the Sony Sambandh situation exactly where the court docket showed leniency to the defendant as he was young and need to quit to be certain that victims of digital fraud have religion in the judicial technique. Stricter punishments need to be in area to be certain that men and women do not indulge in digital fraud. Legislation for cybercrime that is obvious and inclusive of all the types of committing digital fraud such as punishments for every cybercrime need to be legislated and put into power. Investigation authorities must be appointed and there is a established of hackers for procuring data about the fraudster through trials. 

Specific attempts to Lower Identity Theft

Below are a number of particular person initiatives we can consider to lower the danger of identity theft taking place to us. 

  • The least difficult way for a hacker to get access to e-mails is by way of weak passwords, consequently ensuring that you alter your password usually and use figures and figures to make it more intricate and challenging to guess. 
  • The most well known and widespread kind of id theft is transferring revenue from one’s bank account, so, examining your lender statements at standard intervals will assist you hold a monitor of the adjustments in case they come about. 
  • Make certain that you do not open non-secure internet websites as they may perhaps contain adware applications or viruses which could routinely have access to the web-sites accessed by you and the passwords entered by you. Moreover, guarantee all your accounts (e-mails or lender accounts) have two-variable authentication so that in scenario another person fraudulently accesses the account you will be notified. 
  • One can also make sure that their personal computers have an anti-virus system put in to detect any virus in the pc. 
  • Businesses can encrypt their confidential files by adding a number of levels to ensure that it is risk-free. 
  • In situation of bank account fraud, make guaranteed you make contact with your lender to freeze your account to reduce additional harm. 
  • In the instance of receiving phishing phone calls posing to be your lender ensure you really do not give out private information unless you are confident it is a respectable contact.
  • The general public ought to be made knowledgeable of distinctive kinds of cybercrime and how they can secure them selves by way of workshops executed by NGOs or the Authorities or as a result of a collaboration of each. 

These are a few approaches that as an specific, you can do to reduce identity theft. As the declaring goes, prevention is superior than remedy and whilst these ways do not fully end the criminal offense, it will help minimize the frequency of the identical. 


The immediate expansion in digitalization and shift to the world wide web area has posed a likely risk to the boost in digital frauds and electronic frauds. Cybercrime is this sort of a criminal offense that the fraudster is hard to trace and can delete all of his/her digital trails to escape the regulation. Hence, this calls for excess warning for the basic public and businesses to assure the security and protection of their own data. The courts have to make sure that they deliver judgments and display leniency only in scenarios where by it is justifiable by means of the mother nature of the crime and not by way of the character of the convict. As pointed out earlier mentioned the legislation at current are not exhaustive and have to be amended and new stricter legal guidelines and punishments have to be made. Steps should also be taken on an individual stage to limit the unique publicity to the crime.

Consciousness about the many approaches in which digital fraud and cons are fully commited should be unfold to the normal public to make sure they take steps important to shield them selves from fraudulent phone calls, messages, and e-mails. The risks and risks that entail because of to the peculiar nature of identity theft and cybercrime make it crucial that methods have to be taken by people and the state to ensure that the public’s privacy is secure.

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