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Kentucky Identity Theft Laws

We’ve all been hearing more and more about identity theft in the news and in popular culture. And now that we’re using our identifying information in more public ways, identity theft is becoming even more prevalent. So how is the Bluegrass State protecting its citizens from identity theft? Here is an introduction to identity theft laws in Kentucky.

Identity Theft Laws

Identity theft is when one person illegally uses another person’s personal identifying information for financial gain. Most commonly, identity thieves are looking for things like your name, date of birth, social security number, or driver's license number so they can use it to gain access to money. Identity theft laws make the misuse of another person’s data a crime.

Kentucky Identity Theft Statutes

Under Kentucky law, identity theft is punishable by up to 12 years in prison, $500,000 in fines, and possible restitution to restore the victim(s). The table below highlights the specifics of Kentucky’s identity theft laws.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes 15.231: Jurisdiction in Identity Theft Cases;

Kentucky Revised Statutes 411.210: Action for Identity Theft;

Kentucky Revised Statutes 514.160, et seq: Theft of Identity, Trafficking in Stolen Identities;

Kentucky Revised Statutes 532.034: Restitution for Identity Theft

Classification of Crime/Penalties

Automatic class D felony Perpetrator forfeits all right to the identifying information, property, or other benefits resulting from the crime Restitution shall be ordered for any costs incurred by victim to correct credit record, including lost wages and attorney's fees; restitution shall be ordered for any financial institution which suffers a direct financial loss

Who May Prosecute

Attorney General has concurrent jurisdiction with Commonwealth attorneys and county attorneys

Exemptions to Identity Theft Laws

Criminal statute does not apply to minors seeking to obtain privileges denied to minors; does not apply to credit or debit card fraud (which is covered under other code sections)

Civil Lawsuit Allowed?

Civil action allowed

Civil Remedies Available

Compensatory and punitive damages, and reasonable costs and attorney fees if plaintiff prevails

Misc.

"Trafficking in Stolen Identities," for which possession of 5 or more separate identities is a prima facie evidence, is a class C felony

While Kentucky authorities can prosecute identity theft crimes after the fact, only you can protect yourself against identity theft before it occurs. FindLaw’s consumer protection section can provide more information on protecting yourself from identity theft or scams.

Kentucky Identity Theft Laws: Related Resources

Identity theft scams, and the laws that cover them, can often seem complex. You can contact a Kentucky consumer protection attorney in your area If you would like legal advice with an identity theft matter. You can also visit FindLaw's Identity Theft Basics and Stolen Identity sections for additional articles and information on this topic.

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