FTC Advises Consumers on What to Do if Their Identity is Stolen

Step-by-Step Guides and Videos Explain How to Respond, How to Protect Kids' Information

Tips for Consumers

If your identity is stolen, what will you do? Do you know your rights? Knowing what to do is important because an identity thief can hijack your tax refund, alter your medical records, prevent you from getting credit or a job, and even borrow money in your child's name.

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, offers updated information explaining how to protect your child's information and your own, and the immediate steps to take to limit the damage identity theft can cause.

Taking Charge: What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen is a step-by-step guide that includes sample letters, forms and essential contact information. A brochure, Identity Theft: What To Know, What To Do, explains the basic steps of protecting information and responding to identity theft. Safeguarding Your Child's Future tells parents how to protect their children's information, find out if a credit report has been created for them, and respond to problems.

"This is critical information for consumers. For victims of identity theft, knowing how to take charge is key," said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "It can help them minimize the damage, and spot potential signs of trouble early."

Information also is available in three new one-minute videos.

Go to the FTC's Identity Theft Website to read, download, share, print and order the new publications in bulk.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

(ID Theft Kickoff)

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