Arkansas Identity Theft Laws
March 14, 2023
Arkansas has several laws that address identity theft, including criminal and civil penalties for offenders. Here are some of the key provisions:
- Criminal Offenses: Arkansas Code § 5-37-227 defines identity theft as the intentional use of another person’s personal identifying information without their consent and with the intent to commit fraud or other unlawful activity. The statute provides for a range of penalties depending on the severity of the offense, including fines, imprisonment, or both.
- Data Breach Notification: Arkansas Code § 4-110-101 requires businesses and government entities to notify individuals in the event of a data breach that exposes their personal information. Notification must be made without “unreasonable delay” and include specific information about the breach.
- Credit Freeze: Arkansas Code § 4-109-501 allows individuals to place a “security freeze” on their credit report to prevent new credit from being issued in their name. This can be an effective way to prevent identity theft, as it makes it difficult for fraudsters to open new accounts using stolen information.
- Identity Theft Passport: Arkansas Code § 5-37-224 provides for the issuance of an “identity theft passport” to individuals who have been victims of identity theft. This document can be used to help prove their identity and protect against future fraud.
- Civil Remedies: Arkansas Code § 4-88-113 allows individuals to bring civil actions against those who have wrongfully obtained or used their personal information. Damages can include actual costs, as well as punitive damages in some cases.
It’s important to note that these are just some of the key provisions of Arkansas identity theft laws. If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft, it’s important to seek legal advice and take action to protect your personal information.
Arkansas criminal offenses related to identity theft are outlined in Arkansas Code § 5-37-227. This law defines identity theft as the intentional use of another person’s personal identifying information without their consent and with the intent to commit fraud or other unlawful activity.
Under this law, identity theft is a Class B felony if the value of the property or services obtained is $25,000 or more, or if the victim is 65 years of age or older. The penalty for a Class B felony in Arkansas is a sentence of 5 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Identity theft is a Class C felony if the value of the property or services obtained is between $5,000 and $25,000. The penalty for a Class C felony in Arkansas is a sentence of 3 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Identity theft is a Class D felony if the value of the property or services obtained is less than $5,000. The penalty for a Class D felony in Arkansas is a sentence of up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to these penalties, the court may also order the offender to pay restitution to the victim for any financial losses suffered as a result of the identity theft.
Data Breach Notification
Arkansas has a data breach notification law that requires businesses and government entities to notify individuals if their personal information has been compromised in a data breach. The law is outlined in Arkansas Code § 4-110-101.
Under this law, if a business or government entity discovers a data breach that involves the unauthorized acquisition of personal information, they must notify the affected individuals without “unreasonable delay.” Notification may be provided by mail, email, or other means that the individual has agreed to receive.
The notification must include specific information about the breach, including the date of the breach, the type of information that was compromised, and any steps the individual can take to protect themselves from identity theft or fraud.
If the breach involves more than 1,000 individuals, the business or government entity must also notify the Arkansas Attorney General’s office and the major credit reporting agencies.
Failure to comply with Arkansas’s data breach notification law can result in civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.
Arkansas law allows individuals to place a security freeze on their credit reports. This can be an effective way to prevent identity theft, as it makes it difficult for fraudsters to open new accounts using stolen information. The law is outlined in Arkansas Code § 4-109-501.
Under this law, any consumer can request a security freeze be placed on their credit report by contacting each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). The credit reporting agencies must place the freeze within three business days of the request.
A security freeze prevents new credit from being issued in the individual’s name unless the individual provides a personal identification number (PIN) or password to temporarily lift the freeze. The PIN or password must be provided to the credit reporting agency within three business days of the request.
Arkansas law allows credit reporting agencies to charge up to $10 for each security freeze or removal of a security freeze. However, there is no charge for victims of identity theft who have filed a police report or who have a valid identity theft passport.
A security freeze can remain in place indefinitely, or the individual can choose to remove the freeze at any time.
Identity Theft Passport
Arkansas law provides for the issuance of an “identity theft passport” to individuals who have been victims of identity theft. The identity theft passport is a document that can be used to help prove the individual’s identity and protect against future fraud. The law is outlined in Arkansas Code § 5-37-224.
To obtain an identity theft passport, the individual must first file a police report and provide documentation of the identity theft. The police report and other documentation are then submitted to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, which reviews the information and issues the identity theft passport if appropriate.
The identity theft passport contains the individual’s photograph, signature, and other identifying information, along with a statement indicating that the individual has been a victim of identity theft. The passport is valid for three years and can be used to help the individual establish their identity and protect against future fraud.
Arkansas law provides that any government agency, financial institution, or other entity that is presented with an identity theft passport must accept it as proof of the individual’s identity. This can be especially helpful for individuals who have had difficulty proving their identity due to the effects of identity theft.
Under Arkansas law, victims of identity theft have several civil remedies available to them. These remedies are outlined in Arkansas Code § 5-37-227.
One civil remedy available to victims of identity theft is the ability to bring a civil lawsuit against the person who committed the identity theft. The victim may be able to recover damages for any financial losses suffered as a result of the identity theft, as well as for any emotional distress or other harm caused by the theft.
In addition to a civil lawsuit, victims of identity theft may also be able to obtain a court order to prevent further harm. For example, the court may order the person who committed the identity theft to stop using the victim’s personal information or to return any property obtained as a result of the theft.
Arkansas law also provides for the expungement of certain records related to identity theft. Specifically, if a person is wrongly arrested or charged with a crime as a result of identity theft, they may be able to have those records expunged from their criminal record.
Finally, victims of identity theft may be able to seek assistance from the Arkansas Attorney General’s office or other consumer protection agencies. These agencies may be able to provide guidance and assistance in recovering from the effects of identity theft, such as by helping to dispute fraudulent charges or assisting in the recovery of stolen funds