Maryland Identity Theft Laws

At the same time we’re using our personal identifying information in a wider and wider variety of contexts, identity theft scams are becoming more and more sophisticated. Put simply, identity theft entails one person using the identifying information of another for financial gain. Luckily, there are laws in place to help protect citizens from the worst effects of identity theft. This is a brief summary of identity theft laws in Maryland.

Identity Theft Laws

The "personal identifying information" identity thieves are searching for can be anything your name and date of birth to your social security number and driver's license number. In Maryland, identity theft is punishable by five years in prison, a $25,000 fine, and any restitution necessary to restore the victims credit and financial status.

Maryland Identity Theft Statutes

Identity theft laws in Maryland are highlighted in the chart below.

Code Section

Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Title 8, Subtitle 3, Section 8-301 et seq.

Classification of Crime/Penalties

If loss is less than $500: misdemeanor, imprisonment not exceeding 18 months or max. fine of $5,000 or both; if loss of $500 or more: felony, imprisonment not exceeding 5 yrs. or max. fine of $25,000 or both; restitution may be ordered for and attorney fees, costs to clear credit rating, costs of civil/administrative proceeding to satisfy debt, lien, judgment, or other obligation resulting from crime

Who May Prosecute

Any prosecuting authority

Exemptions to Identity Theft Laws

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Civil Lawsuit Allowed?

-

Civil Remedies Available

-

Misc.

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Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Maryland’s identity theft laws are merely remedies after the theft and misuse has occurred. Therefore, it’s up to you to protect yourself against identity theft:

  • Always be diligent when reading your credit card statements, bank account statements, and any government statements to check for irregular activity.
  • Monitor your credit report and any posted credit activity.
  • Use only your first and middle initials and last name on pre-printed checks and consider having them routed to a post office box.
  • Make your passwords hard to guess by using numbers, capital and lower case letters, and even symbols, and change them frequently.
  • Definitely don't use the same password for all your accounts.
  • Shred all your bills and credit card offers before throwing them away.
  • Beware of telemarketers asking for your social security number, and be wary of giving your personal information over the phone.
  • Avoid stand-alone ATMs and only use those ATMs affiliated with a bank or attached to a building surface.

FindLaw’s consumer protection section can give you more information on protecting you from identity theft, scams, or businesses engaging in unfair trade practices.

Related Resources for Maryland Identity Theft Laws:

You can find additional information and resources on this and related topics in FindLaw's Identity Theft Basics and Stolen Identity sections.

Get a Free Initial Case Review

Identity theft can be tough to understand. If you would like legal assistance with an identity theft matter, you can contact a Maryland attorney for a free initial case review to learn how they can help prevent identity theft problems from arising, or to help resolve them when they do.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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