Even if you think something is just a joke or a harmless prank it could still be a crime.Below are some examples of identity theft which could lead to criminal charges and punishment: Creating a fake social media profile about someone else might seem like a bit of fun, but it can be identity theft.If you use someone’s personal information to create a fake online profile for the purpose of committing a crime, or to help to commit a crime, you could face criminal charges.
Identity theft is when a person pretends to be someone else, without that person’s knowledge or permission, to get a benefit or to cause harm.
An identity thief takes on another person’s identity by using their personal information, which includes the person’s name, address, date of birth and email and social media log-in details.
When most people think of identity theft they think of someone using another person’s bank or credit card details to steal money or trick the person into buying something. This factsheet looks at how identity theft can occur through social and online media. It is illegal to have someone else’s personal information with the intention of committing a crime.
It is also illegal to make, use or give someone else another person’s personal information with the intention of committing a crime.
You could also be breaking the social media site’s rules of use.
For example, Facebook does not let you create an account for anyone else without their permission or create more than one account per person.
If you break these rules you are not committing a crime but Facebook can stop you from continuing to use its site.
Example Mark created a Facebook profile using the personal information of a classmate of his, Barry Schnelle.
Mark changed the name to Barry Smells and put in all of Barry’s personal information, including his date of birth, home address and a number of photos.