Identity Theft

Identity theft is using someone else’s identity in order to gain financial advantages or benefits. Identity thieves do this by taking personal information like your name, Social Security number, or financial account number. Identity thieves can then do many things in a victim’s name. They can use existing credit accounts to buy things, open new credit accounts, take out auto or bank loans, enjoy medical services (and make insurance claims), charge phone or utility bills, and even commit crimes and generate criminal records.

Identity theft does not discriminate. Everyday people, business owners, well-known celebrities, and children are prey to it. In California, all forms of identity theft are crimes (Penal Code section 530.5 et. seq.).

Identity Theft Impacts

In 2022, the FTC’s website received over 1.1 million reports of identity theft.

Identity Theft Information for Consumers