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Identity theft occurs when someone uses personal identifying information - including your name, Social Security number, address, bank number/credit card number - without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. The crime of identity theft can take many forms including obtaining credit cards in your name without your permission, or charging something on your credit card without your permission. You may not know you are a victim of identity theft until you are contacted by a debt collector.
Learn what medical identity theft is, how to protect yourself against it, and how to know if someone is using your medical information. Medical identity theft is when someone uses your personal information — like your name, Social Security number, health insurance account number or Medicare number — to see a doctor, get prescription drugs, buy medical devices, submit claims with your insurance provider, or get other medical care.
Step-by-step guide for how to help prevent identity theft or how to deal with it if you are a victim. Identity theft is a serious crime. It can hurt your credit, leave you stuck with bills that aren’t yours, and create problems that could haunt you for years. Someone who has stolen your identity might be able to empty your bank account, use your credit cards, open up new utility accounts in your name, get medical treatment on your health insurance, file a tax refund in your name and get your refund, or give your name and information to police during an arrest.
The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stops unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by collecting reports from consumers and conducting investigations, suing companies and people that break the law, developing rules to maintain a fair marketplace, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities.
Tips if you must handle your legal issue on your own without a lawyer. This document is strictly for informational purposes, it does not include legal advice.