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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.


How can an FTC report be made when the mail is stolen, the phone is tapped and all the authorities are in a crime organization's back pocket and they have their members in all the businesses. A Mental Health Profession was paid off to say I am psychotic and delusional so no one will believe me and I have never had any problem except Panic attacks...which they are causing.

You should report to the police if any of the following conditions apply:

  • you know the identity thief, or have other information that could help a police investigation,
  • the identity theft is related to another crime, such as a burglary, robbery, domestic abuse, or stalking, that should be reported to the police,
  • 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.

Two months ago i was a victim of credit card fraud. I cancelled that card at my bank and got a new one and that was the end of it. I felt no need to report it. Now two months later a collection agency from Germany is saying i owe them 160,80 EURO. I gave them a really nice letter stating i didn't and now they're requesting a police report proving it. What do i do?

You can report the credit card fraud to

You will answer some questions about what happened and will use your information to create 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. When you use, you’re reporting the crime to the Federal Trade Commission, a federal law enforcement agency.

In VA, there are no laws or legal language to protect one from Domestic Financial Abuse and/or identity theft. My ex-husband has set up an online account with the SSA twice, the last time was 6 days before our divorce hearing. The police will not do anything because it's considered a domestic issue and they said he was not breaking the law. I tried to counter this by stating that he knew what he was doing, checked the box agreeing that he was entering truthful information and acknowledged that entering false information was fraud and could be subject to fines and jail/prison time. Nothing happened. Now I have a freeze on my SSN with the SSA, all three credit bureaus, I still need to notify my bank, I have to lose a day's pay because I need to take off of work to clear this up. Such a mess.

You do have protection from identity theft. You can get help at Go online and file a report to law enforcement, create a personal recovery plan, get copies of letters to mail to credit reporting companies and create a check list of next steps.

Will the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) accept an Identity Theft Report generated using the site to place an Extended Fraud Alert (7 year alert)? I would ask the credit bureaus this question, but there's currently a 45 minute wait to speak to an Experian rep

This article explains extended fraud alerts  and how to place one. If you have created an Identity Theft Report (like you can do at you can get an extended fraud alert on your credit file.

How does the FTC claim on its web site that it is a law enforcement agency? You can't make arrests, which is inclusive of such a definition. You work in conjunction with LE, but you are a consumer agency - NOT LE.

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.

My Husband is a Victim of aggravated identity theft, for 18 years without my husband knowledge, on 2012 when I met my husband I discovered that someone has stole his identity, the IRS claimed that my husband owed them thousands of dollars and was working in Chicago Illinois, we live in a different State, how in the world a person can work at the same time in two different States. The IRS are the first ones to know but they wont give you any information all the want is their money.
I immediately reported the theft and IRS acknowledge the theft we got a pin # and get it every year.

I became an expert on how to clear my husband's name and follow the FTC instructions to no avail.

This is our Story:
I reported the theft to FTC, IRS, ICE, our State Police and Chicago Police Dpt.3 Major Credit
Bureaus, placing a freeze/fraud alert still in place for 6 years now, reached out to the State attorney in Chicago, and many other agencies. I identified the thief an undocumented Mexican that lives in Chicago Illinois. I even got a picture of the perpetrator. I reached out to OVC and ITRC which like FCT they help victims on how to recover and provided with many links on how to help with the process by yourself. Yes, help yourself you have to navigate and dispute everything yourself, its like a non ending nightmare and you fall into deft ears too, no one cares. Is like you are a victim, this is your to do list and in our case its one list that never ends.

The thief committed the following crimes under my husband's name:

1) Purchased my husband social security and Birth certificate on the street of West Chicago.
2) Obtained a license
3) Purchased a home with his wife for gain, didn't pay a cent and the house foreclosed.
4) Employment
5) Unemployment
6) Workers comp Fraud
7) Medical fraud
8) Credit Cards fraud
9) Forgery/larceny
10) Rental
11) Utilities
12) Cell phones
13) Identity theft cloning, actually taking complete identity of my husband.
14) vehicles
15) other goods

This thief committed many felonies and on top of that he is an illegal alien, Mexican, which is another crime.

I've worked lengthy hours,days and weekends for 6 years, since I found out my husband's identity was stolen.

I identified the thief, where he worked, lives, his family members and after all of my efforts and hard work, this is what happened.

1) The thief was found and arrested for ONE DAY
2) He admitted all of his scams and fraud.
3) He was only given a ONE THOUSAND bond and was free the same day.
4) I tried to get him for DEED/FRAUD and FORGERY and after working very hard to find the mortgage documents (which I did) the attorney general in both counties DuPage and Kane didn't take our case living the thief free again.
5) I emailed Illinois Worker Comp fraud division and told them about the Identity theft and fraud: This is what they told me: According to them it doesn't matter if he is claiming WC under another person's name as long as the injury is real, I was like (I was being sarcastic) and said to them so if I go under my dogs name you will take my case and give me benefits?, they said I needed to contact the proper authorities. I have the email for evidence. No lie. So the thief was able to collect over 100k on treatments and benefits thanks to WC . Which at that time I didn't even know he was still collecting WC but wanted more money claiming he had more kids.
6) The thief now is using his Mexican real name as he knows that we KNOW and claimed that after the police arrested him, he wanted to use his name that is a CLEAN name and the other (my husband) has many records (of course caused by him) he did open a new landscaping business with his wife (His accomplice) adding more pain to our injuries. My next step is to check if his business is registered with Consumer protection and if he is paying taxes like we do when we work.

Due to the law enforcement and the courts in Chicago not doing much to help us this is what happened:
1) He continues to use my husband's Identity
2) He is using both names one for his own business and my husband's to continue collecting WC benefits. HE HAS A COURT DATE 4/20/18 yes this year unbelievable but true. HE DID NOT STOPPED. Living me to continue with future damages,future damages,

I did everything by the book even as far as identifying the thief which a lot of people have a hard time finding out who stole their identity. Where is the justice for us? Why as victims of Identity theft no one cares the pain we go thru, why this man is still free being undocumented and all is left to continue victimizing us. Why there is no funds to help the victims to do this on their own when the illegals can get help to fight deportation and we as tax payers are left on our own to fight their crimes. Why their is no laws to protect us better than whats in place now. Why after so much work nothing is being done I have so many why's because FTC,IRS, POLICE, FBI are not doing anything when I reported this crime many times. Why do I have to keep a freeze/fraud alert for 6 years and we can't even open a bank account, the house of our dreams.

To this day I'm still fighting this thief is not fair to us and the damages are still coming because this thief is still out there, he doesn't care that he is hurting us as long as he gets what he wants. I blame everyone involved that didn't do anything to stop him just a slap on his hand.

I recently spoke to the WC fraud investigator, she is trying to charge him with fraud as he worked under my husband's name and is working under my husband's name with another company,these are my finding:
1) They don't care about you as long as they win their fraud case and he doesn't get a penny.
2) after I spoke to her that one day she is not returning my calls.
3) It's taking her a year and counting to gather evidence and to this day she still haven't filed her fraud case, living the thief free with his rampage.
4) The same day I spoke to her, she told me that he might only get probation, which made me more stressed out.
4) As I was determined to get this thief out of our lives forever and since I waited a year and counting for this woman to tell me he might only get probation!!!I contacted ICE to have him and his wife deported but she stopped ICE from doing so because she wants to charge him with fraud. Again living the thief all nice and cozy using my husband's name.

I will not STOPPED until this thief pay's for all the harm he had caused and continue to cause us.

Can you please tell me what ELSE should I do? I have done the impossible and we are still victims on 2018. Should I contact the president Directly and complained or he media so they can air my case and show our face for the thief to see us and possible harm us? Keep in mind he earned more than us together with his frauds, have free benefits can buy anything he wants not paying a cent, why would he stop if no one else is stopping him. Since he came to this country looking for the American dream at someone else's expense and had a great lifestyle, sometimes I fear for our lives it crosses my mind all the time, do we have to live in fear since there is no stopping him? there was just a recent case on the news that someone tried to kill a woman to steal her identity. This kind of news that scare us, this guy doesn't care about our laws but then again our own laws doesn't help us.

Our story is much more than this, its a book of anguish, pain and suffering and no one cares, that something needs to be done to protect us and help us better. All these organization do is to tell you what you need to do on your own which can stressed you out, you get consumed and have no life as all you do its read this do that and every time I call they tell me the same thing you had all ready done, it's like a loop getting dizzy and exhausted, what do we know about the law not much we have to read and read and read to get some where and then nothing is done? WE AS IDENTITY THEFT VICTIM NEED TO GET TOGETHER STAND TOGETHER AND ASK CONGRESS TO CHANGE THE LAWS TO GIVE IDENTITY THEFT THIEVES STIFFER PENALTIES, JAIL TIME AND DEPORTATION WHEN NECESSARY. TO HELP US WITH RESTITUTION FOR THE PAIN AND SUFFERING THAT WE ENDURE. WE RESPECT OUR LAWS AS CITIZENS, WHY ILLEGALS HAVE MORE RIGHTS, I JUST WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND THAT.

I will sit and wait to see what happens next, our stories will be heard and I will do whats necessary to stop this thief. I need your prayers, since the law is not there for us.

I have had THREE cases of ID theft in the past year. In the process I learned a PO Box had been set up in a nearby city in my name that I knew nothing about, but post office would NOT give any information. Police know it is local and have done absolutely NOTHING. I cancelled one debit card, and somehow they got the next one. I closed a bank account I had for 25 years and opened one at a small local bank. They got it again. Total charges are close to $3,000. I have been reimbursed, but that is NOT the point! Despite the LAW NONE of the businesses involved will give out transaction information to me or police, in effect protecting the criminals! This includes PayPal, Ebay, Walmart, Doordash, Lyft, Michael Kors, and more! Putting a fraud alert out did NOTHING either! No wonder this is a growing crime that every citizen pays for when businesses do not follow the law, help victims, and LE simply does NOT care!!!

What do you do when LE won't act, businesses like Walmart, Paypal, Ebay, Lyft, Doordash, etc. protect the criminals, violating the law and even changing bank accounts and putting out a fraud alert does NOTHING?????

What if the person who committed the fraud is deceased? I don’t think it’ll help to file a police report.

Michael West just call me saying he was asking what is my phone carrier and he was saying he wants to buy a gadgets using my phone online access. I didnt give it to him.

What happens if you receive a identity fruad letter but you dont respond what happens

the FTC Identity theft report is junk. I helped my dad do one and the report that comes out is just a signature line that the statement is true and an FTC number. thats it. no info on the issue or any name or contact info. No bank , loan, or credit company will accept it. its a waste of time

The FTC Identity Theft Report is a report to a federal law enforcement agency, and subject to laws that impose criminal penalties for knowingly making false statements to the government. Banks, insurers, and other financial institutions should treat it like a police report. In some cases, an institution may ask for more evidence about the identity theft. If you submit an FTC Identity Theft Report and are asked for more evidence, you may wish to request a report from your local police.

I am a victim of ID Theft. My credit card was mailed to my old address despite the fact that I had updated my mailing address and I currently receive statements at my present address. The resident at my previous address from two years ago went on a shopping spree just shy of $1000 with my card. How she activated the Master Card with my name, BOA refuses to explain along with why they nailed the card there. The suspect has been arrested and there’s surveillance footage of her using my card and a trial is pending in two Parishes. But here’s the kicker, I reported it immediately and BOA says because the card was used with the chip and a pin and/or signature was obtained during the transactions I am financially responsible. This is how they treat Platinum Card Holders.

Credit score bottomed out. Can't get a much needed car loan. Can't apply for anything. I feel so used and am destroyed. Hope for help.

This blog post indicates that "Most ID Theft Victims" don't need a police report. Under what circumstances is a police report still required in order to block information resulting from identity theft from one's credit report / score?

Most ID theft victims don't need to file a police report, because in most cases they can use the Identity Theft Report they create at to clear their accounts and credit records of problems caused by identity theft.

The blog explains that a victim should 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.

Is there a way to report people that abuse the FTC ID theft report by disputing all negative reports on their credit. We reach back out to law enforcement when we receive a credit dispute with a police report and work with law enforcement to resolve the case. On some occasions it is found that the individual is only disputing negative lawful credit lines, just because it is reporting negatively on their credit. When that happens law enforcement will take action on some one filing a false police report. With that being said there is more confidence in a local law enforcement report than an FTC report. How can we report someone that is abusing the FTC reports? Your site says "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."

Fraud Management - Please forward a copy of your comment to, and we'll explain what to do. Thank you for your comment.

Recently I accidentally sent all my financial information including my family's SSN and bank account plus tax returns to another email similar to mine.
It's not a theft but the person can harm me if he wants. I reside abroad, don't have an US address but I am US citizen. Any advice?

Transunion is refusing to accept my identity theft report because it is not “signed” by an agent of law enforcement.

If I do not file a police report nor FTC form, will a bank go after the person?

My boyfriend is being held in jail right now in a warrant from another state and he has never been to this other state. He believes he knows who might have used his identity. But how can he prove this?


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