The identities of individuals is not a tangible thing, as it cannot be touched or exchanged. However, it is continually being stolen by thieves and used to commit crimes such as financial fraud, to seek employment and others.
The state of Arkansas has put laws in place that will protect the victims of this crime.
The Arkansas Identity Theft Laws provide as a means to prevent the theft of identifying information, that a photograph of the individual must be included on all personal identities ranging from credit cards to driver’s license and other forms of photo identification.
Based on the law of the state of Arkansas, Identity theft can be classified into two categories based on the financial losses and the severity of the fraud; they include financial identity fraud and the non-financial type of identity fraud.
If the crime is, however, committed against the elderly or disabled citizen of the state, it is considered to be a higher class felony.
Before the identity of an individual can be stolen, the thief must have obtained some personal identifying information of the individual, this information includes, the social security number of the individual, password, fingerprint and other information.
Financial Identity Fraud
When the identifying information of another person is used in opening an account, obtaining a credit card, or accessing the money intended for another person, then financial fraud has been committed.
The law of the state of Arkansas considers it unlawful to use the identifying personal information of an individual to access the financial information of the individual and to open account lines.
Financial Identity Fraud is regarded as a Class C felony in the state, and it is punishable with a fee of $10,000 and a prison sentence of three to ten years.
Non-Financial Identity Fraud
When the identifying information of another person is used for activities without financial gains, such as to cause harassment, have access to material possessions or escape from the law, then, non-financial fraud has been committed.
Non-financial fraud is regarded as a Class D felony and it attracts up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum of six years jail time.
Fraud Against an Elderly Person
When the identity fraud committed against an elderly person or a disabled person is financial, the charge becomes a Class B felony, which is punishable with a fee of $15,000 and a prison time of five to twenty years.
However, when the identity fraud committed is non-financial, the charge is a Class C offense with punishments mentioned above.
Consumers in the state of Arkansas are permitted to put their credit report on security freeze whenever a person is suspicious that identity theft has taken place so the thief would no longer be able to apply in any line of credit through the stolen name.
In this situation, the lines of credit, loans, cell phones, employment application, utility bill accounts, and even mortgages would not be able to go through.
When this security freeze is put in place, a personal identification number would be administered which alongside the individual’s identity verification documents would be used to unfreeze the account.
Canceling a freeze can be done either electrically or by phone, depending on the individual, however, it is advisable to request to cancel the freeze by mail.
Identity Theft Passport
It has become the right of individuals who have already been made victims of Identity theft to acquire a passport that would verify their status as victims. This passport is similar to a driver’s license and is expected to be with the victim at all times.
This passport is a means by which victims can prove their innocence and show officials who may doubt their identity, their status.