Rhode Island Identity Theft Laws

The state of Rhode Island includes several laws pertaining to identity theft and the ways in which best to keep private information safe. Businesses are especially held responsible for the management of information and ensuring it does not get into the wrong hands. Safety measures must be put in place in order to prevent data breaches.

rhode island identity theft laws

Rhode Island Laws

Identity Theft Protection Act- 11-49.3-1

A new Identity Theft Protection Act was put forth in Rhode Island in 2015 by lawmakers in the state. It erased the previous version in its entirety in an effort to ensure the law included the most accurate and up to date information pertaining to identity theft and keeping information safe. This include adding new amendments that required businesses to implement safety protocols to keep personal data safe from a security breach.

Risk-Based Information Security Program - 11-49.3-2

Any individual or agency that collects or processes personal information regarding any Rhode Island resident must use reasonable security measures implemented in a risk-based information security program. The measures in place must protect the information within the database and ensure it cannot be accessed by any party that should not have access to it. With the appropriate measures, no outside party should be able to destroy, manipulate, alter, or otherwise obtain the information within.

It is unlawful for the agency or individual to keep the information on file for longer than the duration of the time services were needed. A written retention policy for the information must be administered and followed. A secure manner must be used in order to destroy the information once that policy term has been reached. Shredding the information is one possible method if it is in paper form.

This law also prohibits any employee or person with access to the information from sharing it with a third party. If the information must be shared, such as to another agency, then the original agency or individual must ensure the opposing agency also has a security program in place to maintain the information well.

Breach of Security - 11-49.3-4

Any unauthorized access to a data system needs to be reported. This includes notifying all people that have information in the system that was breached. Whether the information was as simple as a name and address, the owner still needs to be notified that their information may have been taken by an unknown entity. It is fine for businesses to notify all parties in writing, but the option of telephone calls and email communications is also available.

Possession of False Identification - 11-18-20.1

Possessing another person’s operator’s license, passport, or other identification cards that include a photo is prohibited under Rhode Island law. A perpetrator of this crime will be fined $500 for each offense.

Impersonation of Officer - 11-14-1

It is unlawful in the state of Rhode Island to impersonate a public officer. Pretending to be a justice of the peace, sheriff, deputy, warden, town councilperson, city clerk, or other similar profession is also prohibited. This crime constitutes one year in jail, along with a possible fine of $1,000.

False Financial Statements - 11-18-6

It is considered a form of fraud to make false financial statements to any financial institution in an attempt to open an account or receive credit. This includes lying on an application or giving a false name and identification in order to obtain funds.

Unauthorized Wearing of Organizational Insignia - 11-14-4

Any person who is not a member of an organization and wears their insignia in an attempt to pretend to be a member is guilty of a crime. This includes wearing a badge or emblem, or otherwise donning the name while out in public. Each offense will result in a $100 fine.

Security Freeze - 6-48-5

Rhode Island consumers have the right to place security freezes on their credit reports. Certified mail can be used to send a written request. This ensures the information is sent out quickly and arrives in a timely manner. Each reporting agency will put the freeze into effect within five days of receiving the certified letter.

The reporting agency will ensure the freeze is fully in effect, and then notify the requesting party of the update. This will occur within ten days. The consumer will receive a copy of a personal identification number that can be used to remove the freeze in the future. It also works for setting a temporary lift for a specific duration of time. Applicable fees may be disclosed by each agency.


The state of Rhode Island maints a plethora of resources to ensure its citizens are always able to find the information they need pertaining to identity theft crimes within the area.

Ricreditunion.org: Rhode Island Credit Union discusses frauds and scams, including those that involve identity theft. Various methods are talked about pertaining how criminals obtain the identities of others. Using this information can help consumer pinpoint ways to prevent the crime from happening to them.

Consumeraffairs.com: Consumer Affairs lists a number of Rhode Island resources. This includes state agencies, legal sites, and even educational ones. These sources can help consumers find the information they need related to identity theft and how to handle the process once it happens to them.

Ride.ri.gov: The Rhode Island Department of Education offers a variety of helps tips and resources for families of the community. An Information and Accountability section is available, as well as Funding and Finance. Important details regarding keeping safe from identity theft and computer crimes is included.

Treasury.ri.gov: The State of Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer discusses all aspects of money within the state. This includes talking about the laws surrounding identity theft and how stolen money and property can occur easily.

Riag.state.ri.us: The Rhode Island Attorney General offers a section on Consumer Protection. Within it, common scams and ID theft is discussed. Contacting the fraud department of each of the credit bureaus is the first piece of advice the attorney general provides.