Identity Theft & Fraud Protection
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish an 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—or until you’re contacted by a debt collector. Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing, or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. They may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit.
Children can also become the victims of identity theft.
Steps to recover from identity theft
Filing a police report, checking your credit reports, notifying creditors, and disputing any unauthorized transactions are some of the steps you must take immediately to restore your good name.
The Federal Trade Commission's website has extensive guidance on restoring your good name following identity theft, including letter templates for communicating with creditors.