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Think someone stole your identity?

Identity Theft Awareness Week is a great time to learn how to spot, avoid, and report identity theft. Chances are, you know someone who has experienced identity theft. That’s when someone uses your personal or financial information without your permission to commit fraud. It can happen to anyone, in any community. So how do you get help in your language?

Check out the new publication, How to Spot, Avoid, and Report Identity Theft in Your Language  at Learn what identity theft is, how to spot it, what you can do to protect your identity, and where to report it and get help. To order free copies in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese to share with others, visit You can make a difference in your community by sharing this information with people who need to know how to protect their information — and what to do if they suspect identity theft.


And now it’s easier than ever to report identity theft to the FTC in your preferred language. When you tell your story, you also get help on what to do next. To report in English, go to In Spanish, visit If you’d like to report identity theft in other languages, call (877) 438-4338 between 9am-5pm Eastern Time. Press 3 to choose your language and connect with an interpreter who’ll take your report.


Research shows that people put more trust in information they get from people they trust. So: please share what you know with family and friends in your communities.

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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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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.

January 30, 2024

I hope the FTC is better funded & more efficient then SSA, SSA makes promises re: providing notices in different languages AND in larger font for those with low vision. I tried (as someone's representative) to get SSA to provide all notices to the low vision person I was assisting in large print. So the person could read it. Tried for months, was never successful. Spanish-speaking people have told me that SSA's notices are in what's probably Castilian Spanish, which is not what most Spanish-speaking people in the US speak. Hope the FTC does better.

Terry A. Medina
January 30, 2024

Thank you for bringing attention to Identity Theft. Your efforts, and those of every other governmental or private entity, leave a void where FAMILIAL IDENTITY THEFT is the case. I have found it impossible to achieve minimal harm reduction and halting him has also proven impossible to date. Literally all recommended steps do nothing to help me. Proactive prevention (being careful in public/maintaining privacy)is useless. Those security questions offered by some websites are useless as well - he knows my first dog’s name/first concert attended/etc. Yet, some websites offer no option leaving me excluded from additional safety in security questions. This example is only one of many differences if your thief is a family member. My former spouse has actively stolen my identity for 20+ years and within the totality of my efforts to learn more about this specific type of ID theft, to reduce harm done to me, have all proven fruitless. My own government ignores this issue. Penalties are currently a joke, and need to be increased to a point where severity matches or exceeds the discomfort experienced by victims. Where do people like me go for help when there is none? It would have been so much easier if a stranger from a foreign country illegally purchased my personal data off of the dark web. And why, WHY, are victims of a crime where duration and depth of harm is indeterminable required to clean up the mess left them alone? I suspect I am not alone in having zero prior experience reversing damage done to me as his victim. My government and governing law have allowed an environment where little is done to discourage or halt clever criminals who slither away from responsibility in their actions. In my opinion, when a government fails to acknowledge this type of ID theft, fails to establish punishment severe enough to discourage it from starting, and through this silence effectively communicates to criminals that THIS TYPE OF ID THEFT will likely be a relative cake walk (no pun intended) - a brightly blinking neon invitation has been offered to him making me a perpetual victim. Good gosh, when will someone help with more than a blank form or customized recovery plan or offer useless preventive measures like not carrying a social security card in a purse? It IS a very different type of crime when your thief knows everything about you, yet no one acknowledges this.

February 01, 2024

In reply to by Terry A. Medina

I've heard the suggestion to make the security question answers something completely unexpected. Your relative may know your first dog's actual name, but if you make the answer Pepperoni Pizza or Andes Mountains, most likely the thief wouldn't guess that.

February 01, 2024

In reply to by Terry A. Medina

I CANNOT agree with you more. I have had my credit used as a child without knowing to help family with utility bills. Going forward, recently was hacked from my bank i reported it and the person somehow went to deposit the funds into my account without a signature required. I since flagged my bank accounts. And the 3 major credit bureaus. Well got a new letter from an ambulance company and my data was involved. Id LOVE to know how this happened if I never used the company and also if my credit is frozen? Its sooo crazy and unfair

Robert Noble
January 30, 2024

Thank you for this feature

Melinda Johnson
February 22, 2024

I am going through this and it is so depressing. I hope I can find a the rite help