What Is Aggravated Identity Theft?

Are you curious to know what is aggravated identity theft? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about aggravated identity theft in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is aggravated identity theft?

Identity theft is a pervasive crime in the digital age, and it can wreak havoc on a person’s financial, emotional, and personal well-being. While identity theft itself is already a serious offense, there is a more sinister form of this crime known as aggravated identity theft. In this blog, we will explore what aggravated identity theft is, its legal implications, and the steps to protect yourself from falling victim to this menacing crime.

What Is Aggravated Identity Theft?

Aggravated identity theft is a specific and more severe form of identity theft that involves the fraudulent use of someone’s identity to commit other crimes or further illegal activities. The “aggravated” part comes from the fact that this crime goes beyond merely stealing personal information for financial gain; it involves the use of that stolen identity to commit additional criminal acts. As such, it carries more severe legal consequences than traditional identity theft.

To break it down further, there are two key components to aggravated identity theft:

Theft of Personal Information: Just like traditional identity theft, the perpetrator unlawfully acquires and uses another person’s personal information, such as their Social Security number, credit card details, or financial records.

Use of the Stolen Identity in Other Crimes: What sets aggravated identity theft apart is the second step – using the stolen identity to commit further criminal activities, such as fraud, forgery, or any other offense that involves misrepresenting oneself as someone else.

Legal Implications

Aggravated identity theft is a serious federal crime in the United States, and it carries severe legal consequences. The penalties for aggravated identity theft include:

  1. Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Conviction for aggravated identity theft mandates a minimum sentence of two years in federal prison, which must be served consecutively with any sentence for the underlying identity theft or other criminal activities.
  2. Additional Fines: Convicted individuals may face substantial fines on top of their prison sentences.
  3. Permanent Criminal Record: A conviction for aggravated identity theft results in a permanent criminal record, which can impact future employment, housing, and other aspects of life.
  4. Victim Restitution: Perpetrators may be required to pay restitution to their victims to cover any financial losses suffered as a result of the identity theft.

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Protecting Yourself From Aggravated Identity Theft

To protect yourself from falling victim to aggravated identity theft and traditional identity theft, consider the following steps:

  1. Safeguard Personal Information: Store personal documents, identification, and financial records in a secure location, and be cautious about sharing sensitive information online or over the phone.
  2. Regularly Monitor Accounts: Routinely review your financial statements, credit reports, and online accounts for any unusual or unauthorized activity.
  3. Use Strong Passwords: Create unique and strong passwords for your online accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
  4. Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest scams and identity theft tactics to recognize and avoid potential threats.
  5. Shred Sensitive Documents: Dispose of old bills, statements, and other sensitive documents by shredding them to prevent dumpster diving identity theft.


Aggravated identity theft is a menacing crime that goes beyond typical identity theft by involving further criminal activities. Understanding the seriousness of this offense, its legal implications, and taking proactive steps to protect your personal information is essential in today’s digital age. By staying vigilant and informed, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft in any form and help protect your financial and personal well-being.


What Is Aggravated Identity Theft Sentenced?

Aggravated Identity Theft Sentencing

18 USC 1028A requires federal courts to sentence the defendant to two years prison to be served after the sentence for the underlying crime. Section 1028(b) provides rules for sentencing in these cases. The statute prohibits the judge from allowing the sentences to run concurrently.

Is Identity Theft A Serious Crime?

Identity theft is a serious crime. It occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can cost you time and money. It can destroy your credit and ruin your good name.

What Is The Burden Of Proof For Identity Theft?

Burden of Proof in Being Convicted for Identity Theft

In accordance to Penal Code 530.5 PC, the prosecutor must show proof that: The other person’s information was willfully obtained by the defendant. The defendant knowingly, and willingly used the other person’s information unlawfully.

What Makes Identity Theft Federal?

Federal Crime of Identity Theft – 18 U.S.C § 1028

Identity theft offenses occur when someone uses another’s personal information for economic gain or to take the identity of someone else. These federal offenses usually involve fraud, deception, false statements, or misrepresentations.

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