New Hampshire has strict laws regarding identity theft. It is charged as a Class A felony crime, punishable by a number of years in prison, typically ranging between seven and fifteen. Victims are eligible to receive restitution, and can file a police report that details their innocence for any debt or crimes committed while their names were in use.
New Hampshire Laws
Identity Theft - 359-I
Possessing any type of personal information belonging to another person when there has been no consent given is a felony crime in New Hampshire. Using the information to receive services, obtain goods, get money, or otherwise collect benefits is a more severe offense of the crime that is punishable by an extended prison sentence. A minimum sentence of seven and a half years is often granted in first offenses, with a maximum penalty of fifteen years.
Identity Fraud - 638-26
Posing as another person in an attempt to obtain information about them is a crime of identity fraud. Using other methods of obtaining their records is also considered under this law. It is a Class A felony, which can earn the perpetrator a maximum sentence of 15 years in a prison facility. Up to $4,000 in fines may also have to be paid.
False Identification - 179:62
Creating any type of false identification is a misdemeanor crime in the state of New Hampshire. Altering an ID in order to change the name, date of birth, address, or other pertinent information is also a crime considered under this law. The charge excels to a felony offense if more than five identification cards have been altered or created, especially when there is an intent to sell them. It is considered a Class B felony offense. This type of felony can result in a minimum sentence of three and a half years in prison, with a possible fine of $2,000.
Fraudulent Use of Credit Card - 638:5
Stealing another person’s credit card or credit card information is a felony crime. A Class A felony charge is given if the total amount stolen from the card reached $1,500. A $1,000 charge to the card results in a Class B felony sentence. The crime may be charged as a misdemeanor if it is a first offense, and the total amount stolen was less than $1,000. Even at the misdemeanor level, the offender can expect to spend between several months and a year in a jail cell.
Security Freeze - 359-B:24
A victim of identity theft can send certified mail to the credit bureaus in an effort to place a security freeze on their credit reports. There will be no cost to them as long as they provide all of their identifying information and include a copy of the police report indicating a crime occurred.
All all New Hampshire consumers can place the same security freeze on their reports, as long as they pay the associated fee. A maximum of $10 will be charged for each reporting agency. During the time of a freeze, no creditors will be able to obtain a copy of the credit report on file.
Mandatory Police Report - 359-B:29
It is essential for identity theft victims to contact law enforcement to report the incident. It is then mandatory for the agency to file a report and look into the matter. If another agency has jurisdiction over the case, the original agency should forward the report and accompanying information to the correct location.
Security Breach - 359-C-20
Any business with computerized data that keeps records of personal information is required to notify customers or employees when a security breach occurs. A notification should be made even if a breach is suspected or likely to occur but has not yet happened.
Written notice works fine for this type of matter, although telephone communication or electronic notice are faster methods that will get the word out quickly. If more than 1,000 people need to be notified, an announcement should be made via the company website, and emails sent out to each person so the matter can be addressed as quickly as possible. The business must also notify state-wide media sources so the information can be presented in a timely manner to a large number of people at once.
Spyware - 359-H:2
Neither an individual nor a business shall put spyware on a computer system that works to take control of another person’s computer or read personal information presented within. This type of conduct can lead to a case of identity theft, which the state of New Hampshire is committed to stopping. Altering or impacting the user’s computer data in any way is prohibited under this law.
New Hampshire provides its citizens with a wide array of identity theft resources, which are helpful both in preventing the crime, as well as reporting it if it still happens to occur.
Doj.nh.gov: The New Hampshire Department of Justice offers a step by step guide for idenitity theft victims to follow. It discusses reporting the incident and contacting all banks and creditors where an account is present. Several important resources are also included on their website.
Nhlegalaid.org: New Hampshire Legal Aid provides assistance and legal information to consumers who need it. This includes detailing what identity theft is and how victims should handle the situation.
Unh.edu: The University of New Hampshire offers a police department that focuses on outreach and crime prevention. An Identity Theft section is available on their website, disclosing information regarding how to place a fraud alert with the credit bureaus, as well as creating an identity theft report.
Consumeraffairs.com: Consumer Affairs discusses important matters to consumers of all states, including New Hampshire. Their site offers a number of helpful resources, including links to the websites of state agencies, legal resources, education, safety, and employment.
Nh.gov: Insurance fraud is a common scam linked with identity theft. The New Hampshire Insurance Department provides a section where consumers can make a complaint or report insurance fraud, as well as email with any questions or concerns.