Report identity theft

If you suspect that someone has stolen your personal information, it's critical to act as quickly as possible to minimize potential harm to your financial reputation.

Here's what we suggest:

1. Change your passwords and review accounts

Change your passwords, PINs, and security questions.

Change the passwords on all your online accounts immediately. This includes email accounts, because fraudsters can use these to gain access to other online accounts.

Review your account information.

Make sure that your contact information is up-to-date on all your online accounts. Make sure no unknown phone numbers or email addresses have been added to your accounts. Fraudsters will often use these to get back into the account after the account’s password is changed.

Review your recent account activity.

Check all your online accounts – including your email accounts. Look for anything suspicious, because this can help identify how long ago you may have been compromised and will prepare you for conversations with your financial institutions and law enforcement if needed.

2. Contact your financial institutions immediately

Call PayPal.

We're here to help, day and night. If you suspect your account has been compromised, contact us immediately.

Report it to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

See the FTC website on identity theft for more information.

Fill out an affidavit.

Before contacting your financial institutions, fill out an identity theft affidavit prepared by the FTC. This will help you deal with any questions from your banks and credit card companies.

Call your banks and credit card companies.

Ask for the fraud departments, explain what’s happened, and ask what they can do to help.

Know your rights.

The Federal Trade Commission offers a summary of your rights in the United States, so check it out.

3. Report it to law enforcement

File a crime report. Call local police and file a report right away. This will help your credibility when you're speaking with the banks and credit card companies. In some cases, you may have to file a report in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.

4. Place a fraud alert on your credit

Contact the three major credit bureaus.

With a fraud alert on your credit, banks and credit card companies will have to contact you before opening any new accounts in your name.

Not based in the US?

Contact your bank or credit card company to find the appropriate agencies to work with.


Fraud Victim Assistance


P.O. Box 6790

Fullerton, CA 92834-6790



P.O. Box 2002

Allen, TX 75013



P.O. Box 740241

Atlanta, GA 30374-0241


5. Never let your guard down

Identity theft can strike twice. Once personal security has been breached, thieves may have access to more information than you originally notice. So prevent a repeat offense. Be even more vigilant about regularly updating passwords, keeping contact information current and accurate, checking account activity, and making sure nothing seems suspicious.

Be more careful than before. It's critical that you check your account activity and balances regularly after any incident. Victims are much more likely to be struck again. You should also order a credit report periodically to make sure nothing's out of order. You can get one free credit report per year from Use unique, strong passwords for each site and review the security of your PC and mobile devices.

Read our tips on protecting your information, password and PIN security, and system security.

More identity theft resources

Here are some additional resources for identity theft: