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You’ve probably heard about identity theft, but have you heard about Identity Theft Awareness week? That’s when the FTC and its partners host free podcasts, webinars, Facebook Live interviews, and other events to talk about how to spot, avoid, report, and recover from identity theft. Mark your calendars. Identity Theft Awareness Week starts Monday, January 29!

Identity theft can take many forms. It could be someone opening a credit card or utility account in your name, or someone using your information to get a loan or a job or medical care. And it can happen to anyone. If you’re active in your community, please help others learn about identity theft. Join the FTC during Identity Theft Awareness Week. Here’s how:

  • Bookmark this page and check it out next week to find FTC events you can join and let people in your community know about it too.
  • Follow the FTC and #IDTheftWeek on social media for updates.
  • Share information with friends, family, and others in your community about how to spot, avoid, and report identity theft – available in multiple languages.
  • Watch and share this video.

(View or share the YouTube version of this video.)

Talking about identity theft can help people you care about take steps to protect their personal information and know what to do if something happens. Whether you’re chatting with friends and family, sharing information on social media or at community group meeting, please consider talking about identity theft and the opportunities to learn more during Identity Theft Awareness Week.

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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.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Julie McKitrick
January 25, 2024

I wish this information was provided a few weeks ago, so that we had time to share it with individuals that may benefit from it. Often they don't have access to email so we can't just forward the information to them.

Dolli Llama
January 25, 2024

Education and prevention Is so critical and this is why. I'm a disabled single mom with two teenage boys have been experiencing constant revictimization from 2019 Equifax data breach. Have lost everything and still unable to get relief. Reached out to settlement administrator because I do have an active claim. Denied housing, denied protection from financial fraud with my bank, denied everything and more isolated because I feel that I'm denied freedom. Have 3 college degrees unable to pursue graduate studies because of an sudden debt the college I earned my diplomas are holding my transcripts for a debt that is fraudulent. When does it ever end?! Equifax and this oligarchy is just insanity! Trust me when I say, protecting your identity is no joke. AI and international bad actors specifically in my case from Singapore, have found a way to steel government benefits via wire transfer from US Treasury to my bank....I'd say is a problem. I've also and still have passion to help anyone whom are not able to protect themselves specifically at risk populations like myself.

A. Nuzzo
January 25, 2024

Thank you for this priceless informational service!

Paula
January 26, 2024

How can you tell if someone is using your identity in another country ? And how do you fight that ?

Stephanie
January 29, 2024

In reply to by Paula

Sadly if you go to the police and get a police report or file based on your data breech, they will probably laugh at you saying they have more important things to worry about. It does say you can go to police but best thing to do is call equifax, experian and transunion and demand a FREEZE right away. Explain what happened. Also go directly to your bank and make a real fuss. I went in there screaming and crying because it's horrifying and has happened to me multiple times. The bank can put a fraud alert on permanently and they will always ask you for 2 forms of ID and you will need it notarized to remove it. However I have a freeze on mine and I just got a letter from fallon ambulance that was effected by a million people in my area and you just basically have to keep on eye on your credit and report ANY false credit card company data and or inaccurate stuff and it usually gets removed. I'm on a fixed income and have been denied housing over this. And so much more. It is DISTURBING how much it happens. Do not give social out to anyone put spam and fraud alerts on your phone never ever let anyone demand that you pay them and they have someone held hostage in your family. Reading these FTC alerts help a lot and social media Facebook Twitter tik tok is not always safe. Also get a vpn and anti-virus protection on phones and computers. No guarantee but if you do these things you have a better chance. Good luck this world is awful

Grace Schilke
January 26, 2024

I froze my credit reports with the three agencies and have had no problem

Stephanie
January 29, 2024

In reply to by Grace Schilke

I did too and put a fraud alert on my bank and won't remove it ever but just got another one from fallon ambulance and I haven't used them if ever in over 20 years. Nothing is safe. I will never use online banking again too easy to get hacked. Smart phones are not that safe anymore.

Grace Schilke
January 26, 2024

Freeze your credit reports with the three credit gurus.

Robert
January 26, 2024

Can you discuss SIM card swapping?

Stephanie K
January 29, 2024

In reply to by Robert

That is a GREAT TOPIC because it really happens a lot and I am pretty sure it happened to me and that's how I am on this position today. Criminals need to be imprisoned just like the people who rob our mail carriers to steal arrow keys leaving them hospitalized. Don't even feel safe working these days so so sad.

Brook Tommil Nelson
January 29, 2024

In reply to by Robert

No I’m not aware of SIM cards swapping My data has been taken along with my identity they have exposed nude photo electronic transfers Insurance Fraudulent activities you name it FBI cyber security check my data

Denise D Marti
January 26, 2024

Hopefully there will be information or someone there who can help you find out who and how to find who did this to you. The bank deffinatly did nothing at all to help me! The only thing they did was shut the door in my face and I had been a customer for many many years! It's been 3 years since it happened to me and I still know nothing! Nobody helped me and I have put complaints in everywhere I could find and comment e all over because I am obsessed I just can't just give up!

FTC Staff
January 26, 2024

In reply to by Denise D Marti

Report identity theft at www.IdentityTheft.gov. When you report, give details about what happened and create an FTC Identity Theft Report. Your FTC Identity Theft Report helps prove to businesses that someone stole your identity, and makes it easier to correct problems caused by identity theft.

You have the right to get copies of documents related to the theft of your identity, like transaction records or applications for new accounts. Write to the company that has the documents, and include a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Report. You also can tell the company to give the documents to a specific law enforcement agency.

Sharon
January 29, 2024

today is jan 27 2024 and theft awareness weeks starts Monday jan 29, 2024. I was hoping to find events that I could add to my calendar now-but I cannot find the events yet?

Sick & tired o…
January 29, 2024

Thank you FTC for providing this kind of events for us.
My late husband was a victim of Medicare ID Theft in 2003. He passed away two years later. I spent the last two years of his life taking care of my very ill husband, and, at the same time, dealing with all the consecuences of medicare ID theft, which didn't stop with the death of my husband. Yes, my husband was re-victimized even after death! Over and over again!
Since then, I Have been a victim of a new type of "ID Theft" not because I am careless with my information or with my financial transactions. I am not. I have learned my lesson. But because, other companies who gather our information have been careless and have failed to protect it. Like the data breach of Equifax. Throughout the last 20 these years, two things have been constant regarding ID. Theft 1) The total absence of a Government Agency dedicated EXCLUSIVELY to receive, register, and investigate each ID complaint, protect the victims and deliver the criminals to justice. No. It doesn't exist. The Police Department won't even make a report for ID Theft if you ask for it. They have told me, each time, "ID Theft is not a crime" (Cheers to the criminals), and
2) The absence of laws to prosecute the criminals that make them pay TOTAL restitution of ALL the money stolen to each victim, monetary compensation to the victim (According to the salary of the victim) for the hours spent trying to solve the problem, an additional compensation for all the pain and suffering caused to the victims, and the total relief to the victims of all debts and financial responsibilities present and future, caused by the criminals who committed ID Theft. That would be fair! But no. It doesn't exist.
Class Act lawsuits that result in 160.00 dollars compensation for each claimant are nothing but immunity to the Company sued and a cruel joke to the victim.
In the mean time, good luck to all of us!
Thank you FTC for giving us this space.