Iowa Identity Theft Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
In so many ways, telephones and computers have made our business and personal lives much more convenient. At the same time, we're more susceptible to identity theft than ever before. Simply put, identity theft is one person fraudulently using another person's identification information for financial gain. Fortunately, the Hawkeye State has laws to help protect us from just that situation. This is an introduction to identity theft laws in Iowa.
Identity Theft Laws
Identity thieves can use pieces of your personal identification like your name, date of birth, social security number, or driver's license number to gain access to your money. Identity theft is a felony in Iowa if the loss exceeds $1,000, and punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and $7,500 in fines.
Iowa Identity Theft Statutes
The chart below lists the details of Iowa’s identity theft statutes.
Criminal: Iowa Code 715A.8: Identity Theft;
Civil: Iowa Code 714.16B: Identity Theft - Civil Cause of Action
Classification of Crime/Penalties
If loss is $1,000 or less: aggravated misdemeanor; if loss exceeds $1,000: 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 3 times the actual damages; attorney fees and court costs
The value of property or services stolen will be its highest value by any reasonable standard
Iowa's identity theft laws, as stringent as they are, can only be enforced after the theft has occurred. So here are some tips to protect yourself against identity theft before it happens:
- Always be diligent when reading your credit card statements, bank account statements, and any government statements to check for irregular activity.
- Shred all your bills and credit card offers before throwing them away.
- Monitor your credit report and any posted credit activity.
- Beware of telemarketers asking for your social security number, and be wary of giving your personal information over the phone.
- 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.
Iowa Identity Theft Laws: Related Resources
Identity theft laws may not be the easiest to understand. You can find additional articles and resources in FindLaw's sections on Identity Theft Basics and Stolen Identity. You can consult with an Iowa consumer protection attorney if you would like legal advice regarding an identity theft issue.
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