Delaware Identity Theft Laws
The FBI Director has gone on record as saying cyber crime is the single biggest threat to Americans on a daily basis. And it's fairly clearly why. We use our personal identifying information in so many different areas and contexts these days, which makes the prevalence of identity theft even more frightening.
The most basic form of identity theft is when a person uses the identifying information of another person for financial gain. Luckily the First State has laws in place to help protect citizens from having their identity misused or stolen. Here is a brief summary of Delaware’s identity theft laws.
Identity Theft Laws in Delaware
Another person’s "personal identifying information" could include a person's name, date of birth, address, telephone number, social security number, driver's license number, etc. In Delaware, this doesn’t apply to minors attempting to obtain tobacco or alcohol with a fake ID.
Here are some of Delaware's identity theft law specifics:
|Code Section||Del. Code Ann. Tit. 11, §854 (2000)|
|Classification of Crime/Penalties||If victim is less than 62 years of age: class E felony; If victim is 62 or older: class D felony Full restitution ordered to victim, including lost wages, reasonable attorney fees|
|Who May Prosecute||Any prosecuting authority|
|Exemptions to Identity Theft Laws||-|
|Civil Lawsuit Allowed?||-|
|Civil Remedies Available||-|
|Misc.||Person who possesses credit cards, or other documents of another for purpose of identity theft guilty of 'possession of burglar's tools' (class F felony) Del. Code Ann. Tit. 11, §828 (2000)|
You can’t be too careful with your personal information. So here are a few basic tips to help 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. It's best not to write them down or leave them on a personal computer, so using easy to remember acronyms or systems is a good idea.
- 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 also visit FindLaw’s consumer protection section for more information on protecting you from identity theft, scams, or businesses engaging in unfair trade practices.
Related Resources for Delaware Identity Theft Laws:
State laws regarding identity theft can change. If you would like legal assistance with an identity theft matter, you can contact a Delaware consumer protection attorney in your area. FindLaw's Identity Theft Basics and Stolen Identity articles can provide more introductory information.
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