An official website of the United States Government
Credit reports and scores

What is identity theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your financial identity to commit fraud.

Stealing your identity could mean using personal information without your permission, such as:

•    Your name
•    Social Security number
•    Credit card number

Identity thieves may rent apartments, get credit cards, or start other accounts in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice accounts you didn’t open, charges you didn’t make, or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.

Tip: Learn more about how you can spot identity theft.

Tip: Visit the Federal Trade Commission's Fighting Back Against Identity Theft website for more information.

Can't find your question? Make a suggestion!

Suggest a question