Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft is a serious crime.
People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years - and their hard-earned money - cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name and credit record. In the meantime, victims may lose job opportunities, be refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even get arrested for crimes they didn't commit.
The Federal Trade Commission has an excellent website explaining identity theft, tips on minimizing your risk, and actions to take if you become a victim of identity theft. We encourage you to visit the following Federal Trade Commission web sites to minimize your risk of this growing crime.