Identity Theft Scams
A stolen identity is a powerful cloak of anonymity for criminals and terrorists…and a danger to national security and private citizens alike.
For the FBI, identity theft is nothing new. We’ve been dealing with criminals faking IDs for decades, from check forgers to fugitives on the run. But the threat is more pervasive and the scams more sophisticated than ever, including new online elements.
We use both our criminal and cyber resources—along with our intelligence capabilities—to identify and stop crime groups in their early stages and to root out the many types of perpetrators, which span our investigative priorities.
We also tap into our investigative partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement (including dedicated task forces in major cities) as well as our information-sharing partnerships with every sector of business, government, and education. And we reach out with information and education to make sure identity theft doesn’t happen to you.
Recovering from Identity Theft
Is someone using your personal information to open accounts, file taxes, or make purchases? Visit IdentityTheft.gov, the federal government’s one-stop resource to help you report and recover from identity theft.
Data Breach? Lost Info?
Did you get a notice that says a company lost your personal information in a data breach? Did you lose your wallet? Or learn that an online account was hacked? Here are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft.
Protecting Your Identity
What can you do to keep your personal info secure? Are identity protection services worth the cost? What about credit freezes? Check out the FTC’s identity theft articles to find out.
Free Resources for Your Community
You can help people learn about identity theft — whether you’re chatting with friends and family, sharing info on a social networking site, or taking resources to a religious group or PTA meeting. It’s easy to use and share these free resources from the FTC.
- Free Identity Theft Resources
Free booklets —in English and Spanish — to help people in your community learn how to protect their identity and recover if an identity thief strikes
- Protect Your Identity Event Kit
Everything you need to plan and host an event about identity theft
- Identity Theft Videos
Three videos —in English and Spanish — that explain what identity theft is, how to spot it, and how to recover
For Law Enforcement
Local police can help identity theft victims by:
- helping them file a police report
- sharing free identity theft resources from the FTC
Credit bureaus and other businesses often require that identity theft victims provide a police report to remove fraudulent debts. Please share our memo to law enforcement with fellow officers so they understand how they can help.
For Attorneys and Advocates
The FTC’s Guide for Assisting Identity Theft Victims is designed to assist attorneys who counsel identity theft victims. The guide highlights the rights and remedies available to identity theft victims under federal law, and provides other useful resources, like sample letters.
Many companies keep sensitive information about customers or employees in their files or on their network. The FTC has free data security resources — including free publications, videos, and tutorials — to help businesses of any size protect their customers and meet their legal obligations.