Most ID theft victims don’t need a police report

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Image of an FTC Identity Theft Report.When it comes to reporting and recovering from identity theft, we’re simplifying the process by eliminating the need for a police report in most cases.

How does it work? When you report identity theft using, you’ll answer some questions about what happened. then uses your information to create the tools you need to begin your recovery, including:

  • a personal recovery plan
  • pre-filled letters to send to merchants, banks, and others affected by the identity theft, and
  • an “Identity Theft Report,” which is your official statement about the crime.

In most cases, you can use your Identity Theft Report in place of a police report to clear your account and credit records of transactions that resulted from the identity theft. That’s because when you use, you’re reporting the crime to the Federal Trade Commission, a federal law enforcement agency. Just like when you file a police report, you’re legally obligated to tell the truth to the best of your knowledge, and subject to criminal penalties if you don’t. That makes your Identity Theft Report powerful evidence that you’re telling the truth.

By reducing the need for police reports, helps you get started on your recovery quickly, and helps free local police to focus on public safety. Still, contact the police to report identity theft if:

  • you know the identity thief, or have other information that could help a police investigation
  • an identity thief used your name in a traffic stop or any encounter with police, or
  • a creditor, debt collector, or someone else affected by the identity theft insists that you produce a police report.

To learn more about identity theft, browse our recovery steps, or visit our Privacy and Identity page for prevention tips.


The Federal Trade Commission is a civil law enforcement agency.

When the FTC was created in 1914, its purpose was to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce as part of the battle to “bust the trusts.”

Over the years, Congress passed additional laws giving the agency greater authority to police anticompetitive practices. In 1938, Congress passed a broad prohibition against “unfair and deceptive acts or practices.”

Since then, the Commission also has been directed to administer a wide variety of other consumer protection laws, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Pay-Per-Call Rule and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. 

Not sure what the point is to filing a report with either. You won’t hear anything back from either company AND just keep having to update your password every thirty days on the FTC website. Pointless!

Equifax will not accept my FTC affidavit nor police report. Who do i report them to

You can report that to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

What do you do where the local law enforcement would not write a report when I went to them about my billfold was stolen? My billfold had everything in from my banking accounts info, insurance card, drivers license, credit cards just to name a few. The officer refused to write a report.

You can report identity theft to uses the information you give to create tools you need to begin your recovery. It will create an Identity Theft Report. In most cases you can use the Report in place of a police report to clear your account and credit records of transactions that resulted from the identity theft. That’s because when you use, you’re reporting the crime to the Federal Trade Commission, which is a federal law enforcement agency.

This just proves the FTC is completely useless in the privacy and security of consumers. Our information has been hijacked due to insecurities at Equifax and we have to jump through hoops because the credit bureaus can't provide a lifetime lock for free.

And to prove how lame FTC is, I just called Equifax to enable TrustedId (because the site wouldn't activate my account) and had the worst time verifying my account to someone that doesn't even speak english. To add salt to injury, when taking to the call survey, the survey was not for the call experience but to an advertisement for Discover Credit Cards. Wow! Want to make America great again? Keep the corporations accountable.

I just learned that a credit union issued a credit card in my name in 1985 and it was defaulted on and closed in 1988. I knew nothing about it. They upgraded their computer system and reported that I owed a payment in 2015 and so now the credit bureaus are showing me as delinquent for almost $3000. I last applied for a car refinance in 2015 with no problem but when I applied for a home equity loan in Sept. 2017 I was turned down, as this showed up as a current delinquency. I have been in contact with that credit union and they have done nothing. I asked for the original documents and they said they are so old, the documents are not available. Would filing an Identity Theft report be viable? This is causing me great financial hardship right now as well as extreme stress and frustration. I am preparing to contact the Attorney General's Office but wondered if I should do this first.

You can file an identity theft report at and create a personal recovery plan and a report to law enforcement.

You can also dispute errors on your credit report. Under federal law, both the credit reporting company and the information provider (that is the company that provided information about you to a credit reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.

Does the FTC Investigate based on the report or forward to law enforcement agencies, or is the report more of a Formality to be used in dealing with credit bureaus, etc.

The Identity Theft Report is for you to use. It is your official statement about the crime. In most cases, you can use your Identity Theft Report in place of a police report to clear your account and credit records of transactions that resulted from the identity theft. 

For example, you would send a copy of your Report with a letter to a credit reporting company if you wanted to remove innacurate information from your credit report.

Once you file the Identity theft claim with the FTC then what happens? Will the FTC do an investigation? I have had a person using my SSI number for work for a long time and I don't know how to stop it.

When you think someone is using your Social Security number for work, look at your your Social Security work history. You have to create an account at first, and then you can look at your work history. If you find mistakes on your work history that show someone is using your number,  contact your local SSA office.

Also, if someone is using your Social Security number for work, they might file a tax return with your number. They might try to get your tax refund. You can report the mis-use of your Social Security number to the IRS. To report, fill out the IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit [PDF]. Mail or fax that form to the IRS according to the instructions. When you send the form, include proof of your identity, like a copy of your Social Security card, driver's license or passport.

My Apple ID was stolen wholesale Mac will not do anything about this. I am a musician whos work has been stollen. Please help this situation which affects contless individuals

I received a letter from IRS that stated someone had used my social security number and reported income with a tax return. They gave me a code to use with my social security number. IRS advised me to check my credit. I did. I found FIVE collections on my credit and someone had been making payments! I went thru the whole procedure ,by filling out all the legal forms-copy from IRS-A report from the local Sheriffs Dept.- I sent this to the credit bureau"s and one said they thought I had falsified the report and refused to remove the collections! Man, what a mess! Not much left to do, but keep trying.


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