What To Do If You Become a Victim of “Phishing”


Identity theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, in order to impersonate someone else. The information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, and services in the name of the victim, or to provide the thief with false credentials. In addition to running up debt, an imposter might provide false identification to police, creating a criminal record or leaving outstanding arrest warrants for the person whose identity has been stolen.

Know who to contact if you are a victim of “phishing” or any other form of identity theft:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC protects consumers by stopping unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. They conduct investigations and educate consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities.

They work closely with other law enforcement agencies and collect complaints about hundreds of issues from data security and deceptive advertising to identity theft and Do Not Call violations.

Here are some ways the FTC can help:

  • You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at FTC.gov.
  • The FTC shares your report with local, state, federal, and foreign law enforcement partners. Your report might be used to investigate cases or in a legal proceeding.
  •  IdentityTheft.gov/ is the federal government’s one-stop reporting resource for identity theft victims. The site provides streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

The Internet Crime Complaint Center’s mission is to provide the public with a reliable and convenient reporting to submit information to the FBI concerning suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity and works with law enforcement agencies and industry partners.

  • File your report with IC3 at IC3.gov. The IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the actual victim or from a third party to the complainant.

Take action and keep informed and don’t fall victim to the many imposter scams. Visit FTC.gov to learn more about crimes against consumers and arming yourself.