Believe it: theft of our personal data and identities is perhaps the most pervasive criminal threat facing residents of Connecticut, and the U.S. as a whole. The crime of identity theft involves the theft or use of another person's personally identifiable information, such as his or her Social Security number and birth date, to open credit accounts, access personal records and finances, and commit other illegal acts. It seems like every day we hear about someone whose identity was stolen, credit cards run up, or even mortgages taken out in their name.
So what is Connecticut doing to protect its citizens from these types of thieves? Here's a brief overview of identity theft laws in Connecticut.
Identity Theft Laws in Connecticut
Each state has its own identity theft laws. The details of identity theft statutes in Connecticut are listed below.
|Code Section||Criminal: Conn. Gen. Stat. §53a-129a (2001); Civil: Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-571h (2001)|
|Classification of Crime/Penalties||Automatic class D felony|
|Who May Prosecute||Any prosecuting authority|
|Exemptions to Identity Theft Laws||-|
|Civil Lawsuit Allowed?||Civil action allowed|
|Civil Remedies Available||Greater of $1,000 or treble damages; costs and reasonable attorney fees if plaintiff prevails|
There are several ways to protect yourself against identity theft:
Notify the Credit Bureaus
If you think you've been a victim of identity theft, you should contact the three (3) nationwide credit bureaus immediately to set up a fraud alert. The fraud alert will tell banks and other creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name, however it will not completely stop credit in your name. A fraud alert is free and can last 90 days. You can also request an extended seven-year fraud alert and provide a police report.
Related Resources for Connecticut Identity Theft Laws:
Identity theft laws are constantly evolving to keep up with criminals. You can contact a Connecticut internet attorney in your area if you would like legal advice regarding an identity theft case. For more tips on how to avoid becoming a victim and how you might recover from the crime, you can visit FindLaw's Identity Theft section and Identity Theft FAQ.
Contact a qualified attorney.