TRENTON – The state Assembly unanimously approved a bill to amend New Jersey’s identity theft laws to impose criminal penalties on anyone found guilty of criminal impersonation using any electronic communications or internet websites.
“Frankly, technology has progressed so rapidly that our laws simply have not kept up. Unfortunately, we have seen nationwide instances of impersonation and identity theft that have impacted individuals and families both financially and emotionally,” said Assemblyman Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “This legislation simply clarifies that criminal impersonation extends to the Internet and it shall be subject to criminal penalties.”
Currently, penalties under the statute range from a crime of the fourth degree to a crime of the second degree, depending on the monetary amount of the benefit involved and the number of victims.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee amended the bill to create a disorderly persons offense if the benefit has no monetary value.
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