Identity theft affects millions.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 27 million Americans suffered from some form of identity theft over a recent five year period, and that this cost consumers more than $5 billion. It also created $48 billion in losses for banks and financial institutions.

This is not a small problem. We have a section on what to do if you think you may be a victim of identity theft in the main part of the site and you should check it out. But the three most important things are:

1. Report the theft to the police and get a written statement of that report you can send to anyone who chases you for a bill you do not owe.

2. Put a “fraud alert” on your account at all of the three major credit bureaus (we have instructions on how to do that).

3. File a complaint with the FTC.

Get even more information on how to deal with Identity Theft here.

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