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You know that protecting your identity and personal information is important. And you also know that taking steps to avoid identity theft can make a big difference. But if someone steals your identity, here’s the first thing you do: go to

To get you started, watch this video on how helps you report and recover from identity theft.

If your identity is still all yours, you can find some ideas to keep it that way — and to share with others. If you’re wondering what’s going on in your good name, start by getting your free credit report (free every week through December 2023!) at

And, to keep up to date with what the FTC is doing, sign up to get Consumer Alerts.

Updated September 23, 2022 to reflect the extension of weekly free credit reports through December 2023.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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October 30, 2020
It would seem to me that someone using my identity, is the problem of whomever they are doing business with, or even a government agency; not mine. As for credit rating affects, again, it is up to the credit reporting agency to verify identity, and/or the lender, or credit card company...etc.
FTC Staff
November 02, 2020

In reply to by Tom153

If someone is using your identity, they can open new accounts with your information and get credit cards, health insurance, or commit crimes in your name.

If that happens, you might start getting calls from debt collectors about unpaid bills. You might not be able to get new health insurance, because records show you have a condition that you really don't have. Law enforcement might stop you, because someone has committed a crime while using your identity.  

Sue's BeachDon't
October 30, 2020
please help me. I got a fraudulent notice from state revenue that my identity was hacked.Did all the correct procedures. One of the IRS told me every thing was turned around??, and it was a waiting game. My problem is I have not received my stimiulas check, been waiting since May. What can I do? Why am I being punished when someone stole from me and the gov-erment is holding my check from me? Thanks
November 19, 2020

In reply to by Sue's BeachDon't

Sue have you went on to the websites to see what the status says for your stimulus check? Does it say accepted?
November 01, 2020
My identity has been stolen online many times. Since it's essential to my record label with computer use. Lately I have been paying for monitoring . I intend to press charges and sue for damages .