Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. When a dishonest person has your Social Security number, the thief can use it to get other personal information about you. Most of the time identity thieves use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and do not pay the bills. You do not find out that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit, or you begin to get calls from unknown creditors demanding payment for items you never bought.
This web site explains: (1) how to keep your identity and personal information (such as your name and social security number) from being stolen, and (2) tells you what to do if someone has already stolen your personal information and used it. The web site also contains information about federal and state laws against identity theft and about how to file a complaint.
Identity Theft is the largest consumer complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) annually. If you have been the victim of identity theft, it could mean someone has used your name to make purchases, get credit cards, rent an apartment or obtain utilities without your permission. The Federal Trade Commission has created letters (in this booklet) that consumers can use to notify a debt collector or credit bureau of the theft of your identity.