Identity theft occurs when someone steals your name and other personal information, such as your Social Security or driver’s license numbers, and uses it without your permission.
What to do if Someone Steals Your Identity
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft:
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report what happened. You can call the FTC’s ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) or use their Online Complaint Assistant.
- Contact the fraud departments of any one of the credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report. The fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. You only need to contact one of the agencies to place an alert.
- Call your nearest Postal Inspection Service Office and local police or report identity theft online if the U.S. Mail is involved.
The FTC’s ID Theft Affidavit is a form that you can use to report information to businesses, notifying them that there is a fraudulent debt in your name. Download a copy of the ID Theft Affidavit (PDF | requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) or call the FTC’s ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) to get a copy.
Some states allow you to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will keep businesses from issuing credit to a thief. The cost of a security freeze varies from state to state, and is not available in every state. Contact your state consumer protection office for more information about your state security freeze laws.