Identify Theft: What to Know, What to Do

This resource is a step-by-step guide on what to do if your identity is stolen.

Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Federal Trade Commission
Resource Type
Instructional Material
Number of Pages
Product Type
Target Audience

Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. It is a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation – and it can take time, money, and patience to resolve. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, prepared this guide to help you repair the damage that identity theft can cause, and reduce the risk of identity theft happening to you.  This resource can be used to teach students on how to protect themselves.

What the experts say

The process of combatting identity theft is intrinsically complicated, requiring extensive letter-writing, form submittals, and detailed documentation of the steps being taken to remedy the situation. Victims must deal with multiple agencies and businesses and possibly even hire legal help.  In spite of this daunting complexity, the FTC has done an admirable job of distilling the process into logical steps, check-lists and charts, which are clear and relatively easy to read. This resource focuses on all practical courses of action related to identity theft.  The guidance is relevant, needed and comprehensive.  The table of contents makes it easy to find what information an individual would need for their specific situation and the sample letters and forms make the nightmare of identity theft less overwhelming. However, this resource assumes advanced literacy skills and would be most helpful for basic literacy and ESL students to use with a tutor, teacher, counselor or other mentor to work through the various steps.