Not all online identity theft is illegal in Alabama - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Not all online identity theft is illegal in Alabama

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

Tuscaloosa Sheriff Ted Sexton is just the latest, well-known victim of a fake Facebook account, but the incident highlights a sobering lesson: anyone can be a victim.

In Alabama, some forms of theft aren't even illegal. In many cases, people copy and paste pictures and information and there's no law to protect residents. Officials say that's because it's hard to measure the damage done.

If you find that a stranger has taken yoru pictures or is using your name on another account, Facebook says to do the following:

-Go to the fraudulent account, click the gear drop down menu at the top of the page and select report/block.

-Select submit a report and then choose "this person impersonating someone" and follow the directions to complete the report.

According to a Facebook representative it usually takes between 24 and 72 hours to process the report.

However, it is a crime if someone hacks your account or uses your identity to make money. Jefferson County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Huffstutler says because of Facebook's policies it's difficult to protect against virtual identity theft. His only suggestion: stay off Facebook.

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