Since identity theft is such a subtle crime, the best way to protect yourself against it is to have a wealth of information sources. Here is an identity theft resource summary with links to the helpful websites provided by each major organization. Each of the websites in this identity theft resource summary provides tips for protection as well as contact information and what to do if it happens to you. You should also read our page on How to Report Identity Theft.
The BBB has been in the business of protecting consumers for decades. The organization is best known for its reporting of unscrupulous businesses, but what many people do not realize is that it has an additional service that gives updated information on how to detect and prevent identity theft. If you suspect a business may be utilizing your identity without your permission, you also have the ability to file a complaint with the BBB as well.
One of the functions of government is to protect its citizens and this is the purpose of the FTC: to protect citizens in matters of trade and commerce. Since the intent of identity theft is usually dishonest monetary gain using commerce methods (i.e., credit cards), it is natural for the FTC to be involved. Additionally, identity theft is a Federal crime in the United States which is why it is important to contact this organization. They provide educational resources in the prevention and response to identity theft.
Established by President Obama in 2009 this task force maintains a lot of great information regarding identity theft and financial fraud like credit card fraud. A great resource for consumers.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the awareness of consumers as to how their personal privacy is affected by technology plus give practical information on how to protect against the threats they face. They can help you learn how to be able to protect yourself on your own, teach you how you can better protect your identifying information, and link you to the proper places to help you restore your identity on your own should that become necessary.
This branch of America’s law enforcement provides a comprehensive website on how to detect identity theft, what to do should it happen to you, and preventative measures you can take. This link will take you to their ID Theft Prevention booklet. On the DOJ website you can learn what law enforcement agencies are doing in order to take action against the crime. This action includes prosecution and the passing of legislation.
The National Consumer League provides consumers access to a fraud center that provides information on all types of crimes involving fraud, including identity theft. The fraud center is a comprehensive one-stop identity theft protection page that lets you explore exactly what you might need to do and what options you might have when it comes to identity theft or any other type of fraud.
This task force was established on May 10, 2006 per Presidential Executive Order 13402. The mission of this task force is to initiate strategies that allow the government to effectively deal with the problem of identity theft. These strategies focus on prevention, prosecution, and raising awareness. The task force combines the resources of the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission for the purpose of implementing initiatives in order to fulfill its mission.
One of the most important numbers involved in identity theft is a stolen Social Security number. With your primary identification number in the United States, an identity thief can substitute all of your identifying features with theirs, making them become a duplicate you. The Social Security Administration has a helpful page describing what to do when you are a victim of this crime.