Identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number or other personal information to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund.
Most people who experience identity theft must take several steps to recover. IdentityTheft.gov is the federal government’s one-stop resource to help you report and recover from identity theft.
The site provides step-by-step advice and helpful resources like easy-to-print checklists and sample letters.
If you believe that someone is using your personal information, visit IdentityTheft.gov.
While identity theft can happen to anyone, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. Here are five ways to make protecting your identity part of your everyday routine:
- Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often.
- Know your payment due dates. If a bill doesn’t show up when you expect it, look into it.
- Read the statements from your health insurance plan. Make sure the claims paid match the care you got.
- Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
- Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. Visit annualcreditreport.com to get your free reports.
For more prevention tips — and resources you can share with others — visit ftc.gov/idtheft.