Identity Theft - What to Do

What to do if it Happens to You

A victim’s information can be stolen and misused, in much the same way a burglary victim’s property is stolen from his/her home. This is an information crime - personal identifying information is often taken and the victim’s financial reputation is often harmed.

Penal Code Section 530.5 provides that every person who willfully obtains personal identifying information for any unlawful purpose including obtaining or attempting to obtain credit, goods, services or medical information in the name of the other person without the consent of that person is guilty of a public offense.

Personal Identifying Information

Personal identifying information includes:

  • Address
  • Demand deposit account number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Employee identification number
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Name
  • Place of employment
  • Savings account number or credit card number of an individual person
  • Social security number
  • Telephone number


Report identity theft to the law enforcement agency where you reside. If there are workable leads such as possible witness or suspect information, an investigator may be assigned to the case. If the investigator determines the suspected crime was committed in a different jurisdiction, the matter may be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency with jurisdiction for investigation of the facts.

You are the only one who can clear your credit report. Due to privacy laws, creditors cannot share information regarding your accounts - even fraudulent ones - until you have personally notified the creditor of the fraudulent nature of the account(s).

Additional resources.