Battling ID Theft Takes Concerted Effort

In the state of New Mexico we have a law in place to help victims of identity theft. The problem we have is that so many people are still unaware of it even though it has been around since 2009. This includes many people within the criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies. The law that I am referring to is the, “Identity Theft Passport; Database”. Statute number 31-26-15. Within the statute it states that, the Attorney General, in cooperation with the department of public safety and the motor vehicles division of the taxation and revenue department, shall issue an identity theft passport to a person who claims to be a victim of identity theft pursuant to Section 30-16-24. 1 NMSA 1978”.
How the program works, (1) fill out a police report stating your identity was stolen, (2) resubmit the report back to the agency with whom you filled out the report, (3) wait for the agency to upload the information into the New Mexico State ID theft Victims database that is housed by the Attorney General’s office. This process usually takes a couple weeks. The Attorney General may provide access to the database only to criminal justice agencies. (4) Once the information is uploaded the victim can then go to a state run MVD and be issued a driver’s license with a “V” endorsement on the back. How does this help the victim? Well, if their driver’s license or State issued identification card is run and something they did not do comes up, it will alert the officer to look into it further. In most cases the officer will be able to pull up the mugshot of the person arrested for the crime in question.
Some very good news- help for victims of ID theft is just a phone call away. ID theft victims no longer have to suffer in isolation and feel that they have nowhere to turn to for support.
ID theft Resolutions, Ltd. Is a 501(3) nonprofit dedicated exclusively to (1) educating the public, public officials and legislators about the challenges presented by the Identity theft phenomenon and how to prevent and respond to ID theft and (2) helping ID theft victims recover their identity and protect their credit. We can be contacted by calling 505-417-1902 or 1-888-484-9118 or by email at markmedley@idtheftresolutions.org.

New Mexico State Victim Resources:

Attorney General
Phone: (505) 827-6000

http://www.nmag.gov/

ID Theft Resolutions
Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to (1) educating the general public, public officials, and legislators about the challenges presented by identity theft; (2) providing effective steps for how to prevent and respond; and (3) helping victims recover their identity and protect their credit. Services include free assistance to help victims, a free family prevention checkup, and a no-cost mini-workshop for small businesses and their employees.
PO Box 10243, Albuquerque, NM 87184-0243
Phone: (888) 484-9118
markmedley@idtheftresolutions.org
Agencies that offer assistance to IDT victims:
New Mexico Legal Aid
Program Phone: (505) 243-7871
Legal Assistance: (505) 243-7871

http://www.lawhelp.org/nm/

Online Forms for Victims of Identity Theft
Security Freeze Law:
All consumers are permitted to place a security freeze on their credit reports. A security freeze prohibits, with certain specific exceptions, the credit reporting agency from releasing the consumer’s credit report or any information from it without the express authorization of the consumer. This prevents a credit file from being shared with potential creditors, blocking new accounts from being opened. To obtain a security freeze, consumers must send a credit reporting agency a written request by certified mail, provide proper identification and pay a fee, if applicable.
The credit reporting agencies are permitted to charge a fee of $10 for the placement of a security freeze, $5 for the release of a credit report to a specific person or for a specific period of time, and $5 to remove the freeze. However, there is no charge for victims of identity theft who provide a copy of a police report and for people 65 years of age or older.
Credit reporting agencies must place the freeze within three business days of receiving the request, and within five days, must provide the consumer with written confirmation of the freeze and a unique personal identification number, password or similar device to be used by the consumer when providing authorization for the release of the consumer’s credit report to a specific person or for a specific period of time or for permanent removal of the freeze. Requests for a temporary unlocking of the freeze must be completed within three business days. However, temporary unlocking must be completed within 15 minutes after the consumer’s request is received through an electronic contact method or by telephone, during normal business hours
Statute: §56-3A1 though 6: http://www.nmonesource.com/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm
Mandatory Police Report Law for Identity Theft Victims:
When a law enforcement officer interviews an alleged identity theft victim, the law enforcement officer shall make a written report of the information provided by the victim and by witnesses on appropriate forms provided by the attorney general. A copy of the police report shall be filed with the office of the attorney general.”
Chapter 29 NMSA 1978: http://www.nmonesource.com/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm

Identity Theft Passport Law:
A. The attorney general, in cooperation with the department of public safety and the motor vehicle division of the taxation and revenue department, shall issue an identity theft passport to a person who claims to be a victim of identity theft pursuant to Section 30-16-24.1 NMSA 1978 and who provides to the attorney general: (1) a certified copy of a court order obtained pursuant to Section 5 [31-26-16 NMSA 1978] of this 2009 act or a full set of fingerprints; (2) a driver’s license or other government-issued identification or record; and (3) other information as required by the attorney general.
B. An identity theft passport shall contain a picture of the person to whom it was issued and other information as the attorney general deems appropriate.
C. The attorney general may enter into a memorandum of understanding with the motor vehicle division of the taxation and revenue department for the development and issuance of a secure form of identity theft passport. When an identity theft passport is issued, the motor vehicle division shall note on the person’s driver record that an identity theft passport has been issued.
D. An identify [identity] theft passport shall be accepted as evidence of identity by law enforcement officers and others who may challenge the person’s identity.
E. The attorney general shall maintain a database of identity theft victims who have reported to a law enforcement agency or have been issued an identity theft passport. The attorney general may provide access to the database only to criminal justice agencies. For purposes of identification and authentication, the attorney general may allow access to specific information about a person who has become a victim of identity theft to that person or to that person’s authorized representative.
F. The attorney general shall keep on file each application for an identity theft passport and each police report of identity theft submitted by a law enforcement agency.
G. The attorney general shall prepare and make available to local law enforcement agencies and to the general public an information packet that includes information on how to prevent and stop identity theft.

Section 31-26-15 – Identity theft passport; database.

Identity Theft Laws:
Theft of identity consists of willfully obtaining, recording, or transferring personal identifying information of another person without the authorization or consent of that person and with the intent to defraud that person or another. “Personal identifying information” is defined as information that alone or in conjunction with other information identifies a person, including the person’s name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, Social Security number, place of employment, maiden name of the person’s mother, demand deposit account number, checking or savings account number, credit card or debit card number, personal identification number, passwords or any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person’s financial resources. Theft of identity is a fourth class felony, punishable by eighteen months in jail and/or a fine up to $5,000.
Statute: §30-16-24.1: http://www.nmonesource.com/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm

Other Related Laws:
Restitution
In addition to any other punishment, a person found guilty of theft by identity or of obtaining identity by electronic fraud will be ordered to make restitution for any financial loss sustained by a person injured as the direct result of the offense. In addition to out-of-pocket costs, restitution may include payment for costs, including attorney fees, incurred by the victim in clearing his/her credit history or credit rating, or costs incurred in connection with a civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy a debt, lien, judgment, or other obligation.
Statute: §30-16-24.1: http://www.nmonesource.com/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm

Phishing
State law prohibits phishing, a form of identity theft when someone sends an e-mail that looks official but is used to trick the recipient into giving away personal information that can be used to access a person’s financial accounts or obtain goods and services. The law covers obtaining identity by electronic fraud, which consists of knowingly and willfully soliciting, requesting, or taking any action by means of a fraudulent electronic communication with intent to obtain the personal identifying information of another. It prohibits a person from sending emails that falsely represent another legitimate business and prohibits linking or sending the email recipient to a false Web page in order to collect identifying information. It is also unlawful to obtain identifying information from the e-mail recipient, directly or indirectly, for activities the recipient thinks is valid. Obtaining identity by electronic fraud is a fourth class felony, punishable by eighteen months in jail and/or a fine up to $5,000.
Statute: §30-16-24.1: http://www.nmonesource.com/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm
Jurisdiction
Theft of identity and obtaining identity by electronic fraud are considered to have been committed in the county where the person whose identifying information was appropriated, obtained or sought resided at the time of the offense; or the county in which any part of the offense took place, regardless of whether the defendant was ever actually present in the county.
Statute: §30-16-24.1: http://www.nmonesource.com/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm

Payment Cards
Fraudulent use of a credit card consists of a person obtaining anything of value, with intent to defraud, by using a credit card obtained fraudulently or an invalid, expired, or revoked credit card; by fraudulently representing himself as the cardholder, or by having a credit card issued in the name of another person without the consent of the original cardholder. Punishment depends on the value of the property or service obtained with the card. It ranges from a petty misdemeanor if the value is less than $250 in a six-month period; a misdemeanor if between $250 and $500, a fourth degree felony if between $500 and $2500, a third degree felony if between $2500, and $20,000, and a second-degree felony if above $20,000.

Statute: §30-16-33: http://www.nmonesource.com/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm

Anyone, other than the issuers, who possesses, receives, sells or transfers four or more credit cards, issued in a name or names other than his own is guilty of a third degree felony, punishable by three years in jail and/or a fine of up to $5000.
Statute: §30-16-30: http://www.nmonesource.com/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm

Social Security Numbers
State law restricts the public disclosure of Social Security numbers (SSNs) in order to prevent identity theft. It prohibits businesses from making the complete number available to the general public, including intentionally communicating a SSN to the general public or printing a SSN on a receipt issued for the purchase of products or services, including receipts for purchases of services from the state or its political subdivisions. It prevents businesses from printing a SSN on any card or material mailed to an individual unless required by federal law. It also prohibits companies from requiring a consumer to transmit a SSN over the Internet, unless the connection is secure or the SSN is encrypted, and from requiring an individual to use his/her SSN to access the Web site, unless a password or unique personal identification number or other authentication device is also required to access the site.
Statute: § 57-12B-1 through 4: http://www.nmonesource.com/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm