Many people may not be aware that it is a crime to impersonate another person fraudulently, or to steal another person's identity to commit fraud.
An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for someone to be an impersonator, some common ones being as follows:
Legally: An entertainer impersonates a celebrity, generally for entertainment, and makes fun of their recent scandals or known behavior patterns. Especially popular objects of impersonation are Elvis (see Elvis impersonator), Abraham Lincoln, and Lenin. Entertainers who impersonate multiple celebrities as part of their act, can be sorted into impressionists and celebrity impersonators.
Illegally: As part of a criminal act such as identity theft. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information, or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors.
Political decoy, used as a form of protection for political and military figures. This involves an impersonator who is employed (or forced) to perform during public appearances, to mislead observers.
Causing people to fight, or dislike each other for social, business or political gain.
Identity theft is a form of stealing someone's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name. The victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if they are held accountable for the perpetrator's actions. Organizations and individuals who are duped or defrauded by the identity thief can also suffer adverse consequences and losses, and to that extent are also victims.
The term identity theft was coined in 1964 however it is not literally possible to steal an identity—less ambiguous terms are identity fraud or impersonation.
MISUSE OF COMPUTER ACT, 1990 (UK)
The Computer Misuse Act 1990 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, introduced partly in response to the decision in R v Gold & Schifreen (1988) 1 AC 1063 (see below). Critics of the bill complained that it was introduced hastily and was poorly thought out. Intention, they said, was often difficult to prove, and that the bill inadequately differentiated "joyriding" hackers like Gold and Schifreen from serious computer criminals. The Act has nonetheless become a model from which several other countries, including Canada and the Republic of Ireland, have drawn inspiration when subsequently drafting their own information security laws, as it is seen "as a robust and flexible piece of legislation in terms of dealing with cybercrime”.
MISUSE OF COMPUTER ACT, SINGAPORE
Unauthorised access to computer material
.... any person who knowingly causes a computer to perform any function for the purpose of securing access without authority to any program or data held in any computer shall be guilty of an offence .....
Unauthorised modification of computer material
.... any person who does any act which he knows will cause an unauthorised modification of the contents of any computer
Unauthorised use or intersection of computer services
any person who knowingly secures access without authority to any computer for the purpose of obtaining,
directly or indirectly, any computer service; intercepts or causes to be intercepted without authority, directly or indirectly, any function of a computer by means of an electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or
other device ....
Unauthorised obstruction of use of computer
.... Any person who, knowingly and without authority or lawful excuse -- interferes with, or interrupts or obstructs the lawful use of, a computer; or impedes or prevents access to, or impairs the usefulness or effectiveness of, any program or data stored in a computer,
Unauthorised disclosure of access code
.... Any person who, knowingly and without authority, discloses any password, access code or any other means of gaining access to any program or data held in any computer shall be guilty of an offence if he did so for any wrongful gain; for any unlawful purpose; or knowing that it is likely to cause wrongful loss to any person.