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Privacy and Identity Theft

Reviewed December 2019

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is someone stealing your personal information and using it without your permission. It is a serious crime that can make a huge mess of your finances, credit history, and reputation. It can take a lot of time, money, and patience to fix.

To find out about identity theft, how to avoid it and what to do if you are a victim, check these sites:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's How to Handle Identity Theft handout. - avoiding identity theft, recovering from identity theft, scams against immigrants, job scams, and money wiring scams.

Federal Trade Commission - limiting unwanted calls & emails, computer security, kids' online safety, protecting your identity and repairing identity theft.

Watch videos and read articles on OnGuard about avoiding scams, keeping your computer safe, and protecting kids online.

Download the PDF file from the National Consumer Law Center Protect Yourself from Identity Theft.

File a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.  If your complaint is urgent or if you seek an accommodation due to a disability, please call the Consumer Hotline at (617) 727-8400 or (617) 727-4765 TTY or the Elder Hotline at (888) 243-5337.

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