Millions of people are affected by identity theft each year. It might start with a mysterious credit card charge, a bill you don’t recognize or a letter from the IRS that says you already got your refund — even though you didn’t.
If someone uses your information to make purchases, open new accounts or get a tax refund, that’s identity theft. Recovering from identity theft often takes time and persistence. That’s why a recent announcement from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a big deal: New features at IdentityTheft.gov make it easier to report andrecover from identity theft.
When you use IdentityTheft.gov to report a problem, you’ll get a personal recovery planthat:
- walks you through each recovery step
- tracks your progress and adapts to your changing situation
- pre-fills letters and forms for you.
No matter what your specific identity theft situation is, IdentityTheft.gov can help. The website has information — and recovery plans — for more than 30 types of identity theft, including child identity theft and tax-related identity theft.
In fact, this announcement came in the midst of Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, a national campaign that raises awareness about criminals who try to steal your tax refund. Visit ftc.gov/taxidtheft to learn more about the campaign.
About the Author
Nicole Fleming is a consumer education specialist at the FTC.
A version of this post originally appeared in the FTC blog on Jan. 28.