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URLwire for Monday, Febraury 16, 2004 
FTC Identity Theft Resource Center Helps Consumers 
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
Federal Trade Commission: National Resource for 
Identity Theft
Search URLwire archives
1994 to present
The Federal Trade Commission's site show you how to minimize your risk or recover from identity theft with several excellent guides and reports that are free to the public.

Among the free reports available at

Understanding Identity Theft

  • What is identity theft?
  • How can someone steal my identity?
  • What are the consequences of identity theft?
  • What is "pretexting" and how does it relate to identity theft?
  • How long can identity theft problems go on?
  • How can I tell if I'm a victim of identity theft?
  • Are there any other steps I can take to make sure I'm not an identity theft victim?
Protecting Against Identity Theft
  • How can I prevent identity theft from happening to me?
  • What should I do if someone has stolen or scammed my personal information or identification documents?
  • I have a computer and use the Internet. What should I be concerned about?
  • How can I prevent companies from using my personal information for marketing?
  • When should I provide my Social Security number?
Filing a Complaint with the FTC
  • What does the FTC do to help victims of identity theft?
  • What is the FTC doing to reduce identity theft?
  • What does the FTC do about other types of fraud?
  • Why should I file a complaint with the FTC?
  • How does the FTC use the information I provide?
  • CanI submit my complaint anonymously?
  • Will an investigation be opened if I file a complaint?
  • What documents do I need to file with my complaint?
  • What should I do if I've filed a complaint, but get additional information or have additional problems?
Recovering From Identity Theft
  • How do I cope with identity theft?
  • What are the first steps I should take if I'm a victim of identity theft?
  • What should I look for on a credit report to indicate identity theft?
  • How can I get copies of my credit reports?
  • How much does a credit report cost?
  • How do I prove that I'm an identity theft victim?
  • What are fraud alerts and victim statements?
  • Are fraud alerts and victim statements always effective?
  • What should I do if the local police will not take a report from me?
  • What do I do if someone has tampered with my existing accounts?
  • What should I do about unauthorized charges on my credit cards?
  • What do I do if someone is using my checks?
  • How do I get back money that was stolen from my debit card account or through other electronic fund transfers?
  • What do I do if my bank won't correct the fraud?
  • What do I do if someone has opened new credit accounts in my name?
  • How do I find contact information for a company that has opened fraudulent accounts?
  • How do I correct inaccurate information on my credit reports?
  • How do I stop debt collectors from contacting me?
  • What do I do if someone has filed for bankruptcy in my name?
  • What do I do about criminal records made in my name?
  • What do I do if the identity thief has gotten a driver's license in my name?
  • What do I do about investment transactions made in my name?
  • What do I do about stolen mail or fraudulent changes of address?
  • What do I do if my passport is lost or stolen?
  • What do I do if the thief has obtained phone service in my name?
  • What do I do if the thief has used my identity to take out a student loan?
  • What do I do if the thief is using my identity to file tax returns?
  • When should I contact the Social Security Administration?
  • Should I apply for a new Social Security number?
  • Should I use a credit monitoring service?
  • Should I buy identity theft insurance?
  • Can a credit repair company clear up my record for me?
  • What should I do if I've done everything you've advised, and I am still having problems?

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Headline/link: FTC Identity Theft Resource Center

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