Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.  This information could include your name, Social Security number, or credit card number. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that as many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year.


Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make. In some cases, you may not know until you’re contacted by a debt collector.

Lasting Damages

Identity theft is serious. Some victims can resolve their problems quickly. Others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. Some may lose out on job opportunities. Others can be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit.

Taking Action

If you are a victim of identity theft, the documents below provide you with valuable information regarding action needed. Filling these out can also help a detective investigating an identity theft case.
  • Identity Theft Information Packet - Includes:
    • How to contact Credit Bureaus and have credit reports flagged, preventing possible damage to credit scores.
    • How and why to report the incident to the FTC, the national clearing house for identity theft cases.
    • Tips on how to safeguard your identity and information on how personal information is obtained.
  • FS-106: Organizing Your Identity Theft Case - A five-page fact sheet giving the victim valuable information about how to organize and keep track of their identity theft case. It also includes details on how and why to keep a log book.
  • FS-112: Enhancing Victim and Investigator Communications - An eight-page fact sheet explains why the victim seems to do all of the work at the onset of the case.

If you would like more detailed information, please visit the Federal Trade Commission website.