Wyoming Identity Theft Laws
Identity theft, generally speaking, is when one person uses the identifying information of another for financial gain. And every day that we’re using our private identifying information in public ways, identity theft scams are becoming more dangerous. Luckily, the Cowboy State has laws that can help protect citizens from identity theft. This is a brief summary of identity theft laws in Wyoming.
Identity Theft Laws
Identity thieves are looking for anything they can use to gain access to money -- things like your name, date of birth, social security number and driver's license number. Under Wyoming law, identity theft is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 in fines, and possible restitution to restore the victim(s).
Wyoming Identity Theft Statutes
The following table outlines identity theft laws in Wyoming.
|Code Section||Wyo. Stat. Ann. §6-3-901; §1-1-128|
|Classification of Crime/Penalties||If loss is less than $500: misdemeanor; if loss of $500 or more: felony If misdemeanor: imprisonment up to 6 months, or fine up to $750, or both; if felony: imprisonment up to 10 years, or fine up to $10,000, or both; court may order restitution to victim for costs incurred, including attorney fees, costs to clear credit history, costs of civil/administrative proceeding to satisfy debt, lien, or other obligation resulting from crime|
|Who May Prosecute||Any prosecuting authority|
|Exemptions to Identity Theft Laws||-|
|Civil Lawsuit Allowed?||Civil action allowed|
|Civil Remedies Available||Victim may enjoin/restrain perpetrator from further violations of identity theft law; victim may recover damages subject to set off against judgment ordered under criminal law; prevailing party may recover court costs and attorney fees|
Since Wyoming’s identity theft laws can only be enforced after the fact, 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 preprinted 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.
You can find more information on protecting yourself from identity theft, scams, or businesses engaging in unfair trade practices in FindLaw’s consumer protection section.
Related Resources for Wyoming Identity Theft Laws:
Identity theft practices can be complicated and so can the laws that prohibit them. If you would like legal assistance with an identity theft matter, you can contact a Wyoming consumer protection attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's Identity Theft Basics and Stolen Identity sections for more articles and resources on this topic.
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