Proposal toughens penalties for military ID theft

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio’s attorney general is joining a push for harsher penalties on people who steal the identities of active duty military personnel and their spouses.

House Bill 471 would amend the current statute that penalizes felons whose victims are disabled or over 65 years old to include active duty service members and their spouses.  The military member could also recover up to $5,000 from the perpetrator.

“Military service members protect our country day in and day out, and it’s unforgivable that anyone would commit such crimes against these brave men and women and their spouses,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “Identity fraud against the military is increasing in our state. This newly introduced bill would give Ohio one of the toughest laws in the country with respect to punishing felons who commit identity fraud against our active-duty service members.”

DeWine says service members are often targeted when they are deployed. He says victims may not be aware that their personal information was compromised until returning from duty.

The Federal Trade Commission says it received more than 22,000 identity fraud complaints from military personnel in 2013.
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