What is identity theft?
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 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft. The crime takes many forms. 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, or until you're contacted by a debt collector.
Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. 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. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit. Federal Trade Commission
If you are a victim of identity theft, file a police report with your local police department as soon as you realize you were a victim. Bring any paperwork you may have (bank statements, credit card bills, phone records, etc) pertaining to the theft with you, as the police will want to make copies of it. After the report has been filed, make sure to get a copy of it for your files.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a website that addresses identity theft. Please visit their site. You will find many valuable resources to help you deal with identity theft. Click here for the FTC Web Site
The Ohio Attorney General's Office also has Identity Theft information. Click here to go to the Attorney General Web site