Article 19C.

Identity Theft.

14-113.20. Identity theft.

(a) A person who knowingly obtains, possesses, or uses identifying information of another person, living or dead, with the intent to fraudulently represent that the person is the other person for the purposes of making financial or credit transactions in the other person's name, to obtain anything of value, benefit, or advantage, or for the purpose of avoiding legal consequences is guilty of a felony punishable as provided in G.S. 14-113.22(a).

(b) The term "identifying information" as used in this Article includes the following:

(1) Social security or employer taxpayer identification numbers.

(2) Drivers license, State identification card, or passport numbers.

(3) Checking account numbers.

(4) Savings account numbers.

(5) Credit card numbers.

(6) Debit card numbers.

(7) Personal Identification (PIN) Code as defined in G.S. 14-113.8(6).

(8) Electronic identification numbers, electronic mail names or addresses, Internet account numbers, or Internet identification names.

(9) Digital signatures.

(10) Any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person's financial resources.

(11) Biometric data.

(12) Fingerprints.

(13) Passwords.

(14) Parent's legal surname prior to marriage.

(c) It shall not be a violation under this Article for a person to do any of the following:

(1) Lawfully obtain credit information in the course of a bona fide consumer or commercial transaction.

(2) Lawfully exercise, in good faith, a security interest or a right of offset by a creditor or financial institution.

(3) Lawfully comply, in good faith, with any warrant, court order, levy, garnishment, attachment, or other judicial or administrative order, decree, or directive, when any party is required to do so. (1999-449, s. 1; 2000-140, s. 37; 2002-175, s. 4; 2005-414, s. 6.)

 

14-113.20A. Trafficking in stolen identities.

(a) It is unlawful for a person to sell, transfer, or purchase the identifying information of another person with the intent to commit identity theft, or to assist another person in committing identity theft, as set forth in G.S. 14-113.20.

(b) A violation of this section is a felony punishable as provided in G.S. 14-113.22(a1). (2002-175, s. 5; 2005-414, s. 7(2).)

 

14-113.21. Venue of offenses.

In any criminal proceeding brought under G.S. 14-113.20, the crime is considered to be committed in the county where the victim resides, where the perpetrator resides, where any part of the identity theft took place, or in any other county instrumental to the completion of the offense, regardless of whether the defendant was ever actually present in that county. (1999-449, s. 1; 2005-414, ss. 2, 7.)

 

14-113.21A. Investigation of offenses.

(a) A person who has learned or reasonably suspects that the person has been the victim of identity theft may contact the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the person's actual residence. Notwithstanding the fact that jurisdiction may lie elsewhere for investigation and prosecution of a crime of identity theft, the local law enforcement agency may take the complaint, issue an incident report, and provide the complainant with a copy of the report and may refer the report to a law enforcement agency in that different jurisdiction.

(b) Nothing in this section interferes with the discretion of a local law enforcement agency to allocate resources for investigations of crimes. A complaint filed or report issued under this section is not required to be counted as an open case for purposes of compiling open case statistics. (2005-414, s. 3.)

 

14-113.22. Punishment and liability.

(a) A violation of G.S.14-113.20(a) is punishable as a Class G felony, except it is punishable as a Class F felony if: (i) the victim suffers arrest, detention, or conviction as a proximate result of the offense, or (ii) the person is in possession of the identifying information pertaining to three or more separate persons.

(a1) A violation of G.S. 14-113.20A is punishable as a Class E felony.

(a2) The court may order a person convicted under G.S. 14-113.20 or G.S. 14-113.20A to pay restitution pursuant to Article 81C of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes for financial loss caused by the violation to any person. Financial loss included under this subsection may include, in addition to actual losses, lost wages, attorneys' fees, and other costs incurred by the victim in correcting his or her credit history or credit rating, or in connection with any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding brought against the victim resulting from the misappropriation of the victim's identifying information.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), (a1), or (a2) of this section, any person who commits an act made unlawful by G.S. 14-113.20 or G.S. 14-113.20A may also be liable for damages under G.S. 1-539.2C.

(c) In any case in which a person obtains identifying information of another person in violation of this Article, uses that information to commit a crime in addition to a violation of this Article, and is convicted of that additional crime, the court records shall reflect that the person whose identity was falsely used to commit the crime did not commit the crime. (1999-449, s. 1; 2002-175, ss. 6, 7; 2003-206, s. 3.)

 

14-113.23. Authority of the Attorney General.

The Attorney General may investigate any complaint regarding identity theft under this Article. In conducting these investigations, the Attorney General has all the investigative powers available to the Attorney General under Article 1 of Chapter 75 of the General Statutes. The Attorney General shall refer all cases of identity theft under G.S. 14-113.20 to the district attorney in the county where the crime was deemed committed in accordance with G.S. 14-113.21. (1999-449, s. 1; 2005-414, s. 7(2).)

 

14-113.24. Credit, charge, or debit card numbers on receipts.

(a) For purposes of this section, the word "person" means the person that owns or leases the cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts of credit, charge, or debit card transactions.

(b) Except as provided in this section, no person that accepts credit, charge, or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than five digits of the credit, charge, or debit card account number or the expiration date upon any receipt with the intent to provide the receipt to the cardholder at the point of sale. This section applies to a person who employs a cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts for credit, charge, or debit card transactions. This section does not apply to a person whose sole means of recording a credit, charge, or debit card number for the transaction of business is by handwriting or by an imprint or copy of the credit, charge, or debit card.

(c) A person who violates this section commits an infraction as defined in G.S. 14-3.1 and is subject to a penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) per violation, not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) in any calendar month or two thousand dollars ($2,000) in any calendar year. A person who receives a citation for violation of this section is not subject to the penalty provided in this subsection if the person establishes in court that the person came into compliance with this section within 30 days of the issuance of the citation and the person has remained in compliance with this section. (2003-206, s. 1; 2003-206, s. 2.)

 

14-113.25. Sale of certain cash registers and other receipt printing machines.

(a) No person shall sell or offer to sell a cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts of credit, charge, or debit card transactions that cannot be programmed or operated to produce a receipt with five or fewer digits of the credit, charge, or debit card account number and no expiration date printed on the receipt. This subsection applies to cash registers or other machines or devices sold or offered for sale for use in the ordinary course of business in this State.

(b) A person who violates this section commits an infraction as defined in G.S. 14-3.1 and is subject to a penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) per violation. For purposes of assessing penalties pursuant to this subsection, the sale or offer for sale of each individual cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts of credit, charge, or debit card transactions in violation of this section is treated as a separate violation. (2003-206, s. 1.)

 

14-113.26. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

14-113.27. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

14-113.28. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

14-113.29. Reserved for future codification purposes.