Identity Theft Guide Part 1

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is when your personal information is stolen and used illegally, to open accounts in your name. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America.

Techniques used to steal information.

  • Phishing and spoof. Impersonating a well-known organization through fraudulent (phishing) emails and spoof websites. Find out more with our Phishing Guide.
  • Examining garbage. Scavenging through trash bins to find old bank statements or other documents with personal information.
  • In person. Eavesdropping or spying on people during financial transactions.
  • Hacking. Breaking into computer databases and retrieving information.

PayPal protection against identity theft.

PayPal works 24/7 to help safeguard your privacy and protect your identity by using advanced technology and vigilant monitoring.

  • If you get an email that may be fraudulent, alert us by forwarding it to
  • PayPal lets you shop without sharing your bank or credit card account numbers with the merchant.
  • PayPal provides free Equifax Credit Alerts to all U.S. customers, giving you peace of mind with early warnings of potential identity theft. To find out more, go to the Equifax Credit Alerts Guide.
  • We deploy fraud prevention technology that monitors transactions for suspicious activity.
  • We work with law enforcement to assist in apprehending and prosecuting fraudsters and to identity thieves.

How to protect yourself from identity theft.

Part 2: Preventing Identity Theft

Additional resources for everyone.

To learn more Online Safety Essentials, go to: