What is Identity Theft?
What is identifying information?
Does my local police department have to file a report for identity theft?
I am a victim of identity theft. What do I do now?
If you believe your mail has been tampered with or stolen
What if the person who stole my identity lives in another town or state?
Will there be an arrest in my case?
ID Theft Preventative Actions
Texas Penal Code Sec. 32.51 states that a person commits an offense if they obtain, possess, transfer, or use identifying information of another person without the other person's consent and with intent to harm or defraud another.
This can include your name, social security number, date of birth, bank account number, PIN numbers, etc...It means any information that identifies a specific individual.
Under Texas law, if you are the victim of identity theft, and you report it to your local police department, an official police report must be filed. (Art. 2.29 CCP)
You can normally obtain a police report through the department records section. Set up a folder to keep detailed information of the crime. Keep a log of all of your contacts and make copies of documents. Contact all of your creditors and notify them of your problem.
at the Federal Trade Commission Website or at
1-877-IDTHEFT. The FTC is the federal clearinghouse for identity theft complaints. You must do this yourself.
Notification to the other bureaus is automatic. The three major credit bureaus contact information are:
You should also request a copy of your credit report.
contact a postal inspector at the US Postal Service Website and file a report.
Your local police department must still file the initial report. In most cases, your local police will forward the report to the agency where the suspect resides so that they can investigate the complaint.
If a suspect can be positively identified, then the case will be presented to the local prosecutor for possible charges. However, identity theft is a difficult case to investigate and prosecute. Many ID theft suspects operate over the internet and use fake ID's, making positive identification sometimes very difficult. The most important step in this process is for you to protect your personal information and your financial accounts.
If you do not have a personal computer, or access to the internet, go to your local library for internet access.
Overseas and Internet Criminals are using stolen identifications and credit card numbers to purchase items like computers and computer parts from United States businesses. They then solicit American citizens over the internet for help in shipping the items overseas. These criminals solicit people through an online employment service or newspaper classified ad and tell the unsuspecting new employee (you) that you will receive packages at your residence. Simply re-package the item and ship it overseas, often to countries like Nigeria, England and Russia. You will be paid for each shipment allegedly. THIS IS NOT A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS!
If you received a check or money order through the mail as a result of a solicitation you received over the Internet to be a part of a check cashing business, a solicitation for unclaimed funds or as alleged winnings in some lottery, DO NOT CASH IT! This is also a scam. Contact the police department. Your cooperation will not result in prosecution. If you do attempt to cash it, you may be committing a felony, punishable by up to two years in state jail and a $10,000 fine.
Federal Trade Commission