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                                                Are You Me?

HP Facts: The story throughout GOF revolves around Barty
Crouch, Jr. using Polyjuice Potion to impersonate and take the
identity of Mad Eye Moody. But for this, Harry would not
have competed in the Triwizard Tournament, which ultimately
led to the re-birth of, and confrontation with, Lord Voldemort.

Additional HP Facts: Harry, Hermione, and Ron
determined that a Horcrux was stored in Bellatrix Lestrange's
vault at Gringott's Bank. With the help of Griphook, a former
bank employee, they hatched a plan to gain access to the vault.
To get past the goblin bank officials, Hermione took Polyjuice
Potion to impersonate Bellatrix. (DH-26)

Muggle Law: Most states and the federal government have
adopted a statute addressing identity theft. This crime occurs
when someone uses your personal information – such as your
name, credit card number, bank account number, or social
security number – without your permission to fraudulently
obtain a financial benefit. For example, the thief, armed with
financial and personal information about you, opens a credit
card account or a new cell phone account in your name,
typically using the thief's address. The thief then makes
purchases and does not pay the bills. You are unaware of this
theft because the bills are mailed directly to the thief. Bye-bye
good credit. Other scams include the thief's ordering checks
on your bank account and using them to spend your money. Or
the thief might take out a loan in your name and not make
payments when due.

How is the thief able to get the necessary personal and
financial information? There are numerous methods. They include:
rummaging through trash for bills and other papers
containing personal information; pretending online to be a
financial institution and asking for personal information;
diverting your billing statements to another location by filling
out a change-of-address form at the post office; and stealing
your wallet or purse, which typically contains lots of
identifying information.

Application to HP Facts: Concerning Barty Crouch, Jr., he
took on the persona of Mad Eye Moody for the entire school
year. In so doing, he impersonated Moody and stole his
identity. Presumably, he was collecting Moody's salary from
Hogwarts, and we know he was using Moody's personal
possessions, including the magical eye and prosthetic leg,
living quarters, and office.

Regarding Hermione's impersonation of Bellatrix, her objective
was to gain access to Bellatrix's vault to steal the cup
containing the Horcrux. Both of these circumstances constitute
identity theft.

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Other Areas of Law Implicated by These Facts

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