Alaska is one of the many states that have laws in place regarding identity theft and stolen information. The Personal Information Protection Act for Alaska was passed back in 2009 to help protect the information of all citizens in the state. Stealing information included in this act is a serious offense with jail time and fines associated with it.
- 1 Alaska Laws
- 1.1 Breach of Security Involving Personal Information - Sec. 45.48.010 - .090
- 1.2 Credit Report and Credit Score Security Freeze - Sec. 45.48.100 - .290
- 1.3 Protection of Social Security Number - Sec. 45.48.400 - .480
- 1.4 Factual Declaration of Innocence - Sec. 45.48.600 - .690
- 1.5 Truncation of Card Information - Sec. 45.48.750
- 2 Famous Cases
- 3 Resources
Breach of Security Involving Personal Information - Sec. 45.48.010 - .090
Consumers must be provided details when any of their personal information has been breached. This means their names and at least one other piece of information, including a driver’s license number, account number, or social security number, has been found or used. The details must be given immediately, unless there is a criminal investigation in progress that prevents it. The details will then be provided once the investigation is completed, or it is otherwise safe to do so. If the breach is unlikely to be a harmful occurrence to the consumer, it does not have to be disclosed at all. This may include if the information was used simply to pose as a different age for the purpose of obtaining alcohol, tobacco, or otherwise. Written notice is needed for this breach, unless it is safe to be provided in another manner seen fit by the institution. It is a $500 penalty for any person or agency who does not disclose the information when it is needed to do so.
Credit Report and Credit Score Security Freeze - Sec. 45.48.100 - .290
Consumers are allowed to place a security freeze on their credit report and score. It prevents another person from accessing the report. The freeze typically has to be done by mail, unless the reporting agency has another means to do so. It must be removed in the same manner. It costs money to place this freeze on an account, and consumers will have to place one for each of the three main reporting agencies. This could cost at least $15 to freeze all reports, at $5 each, and $6 to unfreeze them, at $2 each. $5000 worth of damages may have to be paid if a party accesses an account while a freeze is in place.
Protection of Social Security Number - Sec. 45.48.400 - .480
No person is allowed to make information regarding social security numbers available to the public eye. A social security number may also not be required for Internet access, or the purchase of goods and services. These numbers should also never be included on any mail, even sent to the consumer to whom it belongs. The only exception is when a government agency is involved.
Factual Declaration of Innocence - Sec. 45.48.600 - .690
A person who has fallen victim to identity theft has the right to request a declaration of innocence. The Alaska Superior Court has to be petitioned for this declaration. This law takes place after the person who stole the identity is taken to jail or otherwise convicted of the crime under the stolen name. A database is kept to include any names of people who fell victim to this type of theft.
The provision goes on to state that a police report may be filed if identify theft is suspected. The local agency where the victim lives will be responsible for handling the case, even if the crime was committed in a separate location.
Truncation of Card Information - Sec. 45.48.750
No more than the last four digits of a debit or credit card number may be printed. This is especially true for a receipt from a sale purchase. A device that electronically prints these numbers is also not allowed to be sold. Violating this statute could mean a $3000 penalty. That does not include court costs, attorney fees, or damages paid to the victim.
Dozens of Charges of Identity Theft in Anchorage
Two residents of Anchorage, Alaska, have been charged with dozens of counts of identity theft. Kelci Neal and Zachary Ensman stole checks from homes, mailboxes, and vehicles. They then opened bank accounts and deposited those checks using stolen identities.
The theft took place in 2014, and last nearly an entire. The two culprits earned 48 counts of various crimes, including bank fraud, conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and possession of stolen mail. More than $47,000 was obtained during the process. Only Ensman had appeared in court by July of 2016, while Neal remained at large. Both had previously stolen money from their landlords and evaded authorities. Each are facing up to 30 years in prison.
Various resources may assist victims with getting the help they need.
Law.state.ak.us: Alaska’s state law website provides details of all laws setforth in the state. Consumer protection is a topic of priority on the site, which provides contact information for the attorney general and the consumer protection unit. Frauds and scams are a main topic listed, which provides examples of potential scams to watch out for.
Alaskalawhelp.org: Learning exactly what identity theft is and how it can affect someone personally is a great preventative measure for it happening. The Alaska Law Help website details this and more. There are also forms provided that allow victims to report the fraud to the necessary agencies, including creditors, banks, debt collectors, and credit bureaus.
Annualcreditreport.com: The Annual Credit Report website allows people to obtain full reports of their credit history. This report details debts owed. Disputes can be made regarding any debts that were not created by the person whose name is on the report.
Criminaldefenselawyer.com: A criminal defense laywer may come in handy for those accused for identity theft. Victims may also seek the assistance of a lawyer. Several of the Alaska laws are listed on the site, along with contact information for who to reach out to for help.
Identitytheftnetwork.org: Victims of identity theft may seek assitance from the Identity Theft Network. The website has full details for Alaska and additional helpful resources people may seek.