With more than 13 million Americans victimized by identity thieves in 2015, the crime of identity theft continues to be a prevalent problem across the country. In particular, identity thieves tend to target credit cards and bank cards for their crimes, with approximately 86 percent of identity theft victims seeing their existing bank accounts compromised. In an effort to protect Missourians, the General Assembly approved legislation this year that was recently signed into law by the governor.
The legislation will make it a crime to knowingly possess fraudulently obtained credit or debit devices. Under current law, it is not illegal to possess another person’s credit or debit cards. Because of this, law enforcement must wait for the person to show intent to use the card or information before an investigation begins. The change to the law approved by the General Assembly will allow law enforcement to investigate as soon as they are aware that someone has fraudulently obtained the cards or personal information.