Identity Theft Frequently Asked Questions

Authored By: Bay Area Legal Services, Inc. - Hillsborough/Tampa


What is ID Theft?

ID theft occurs when someone, without your consent, uses your name, your social security number, or your driver’s license number to steal money from your bank accounts, put charges on your credit card account that aren't yours, obtain a loan in your name, or present themselves as you while applying for a driver’s license. ID theft occurs when someone uses your information to obtain a loan or apply for employment. A victim of ID theft may even have an arrest record because someone fraudulently presented their ID when they were arrested. These are just some examples of ID theft. 

What should you do if you believe you are a victim of ID theft?

  • Report the theft to the police. Ask for a police report. Florida law (FL Statutes Sec. 817.568 (17) and (18)) allows a victim of ID Theft to use the county where he/she resides as the location where the victim failed to give consent. 
  • Report the incident to the agency where the incident took place.
  • Report the incident to the three major credit bureaus. Provide a copy of the police 
  • Report and ask for removal of the debts created by the identity thief.

  • Report the incident to your bank.
  • Report the incident to Department of Highway Safety and Motor by calling 1-
  • 850/617-2405. 

Where can I get help?

  • You can call the Florida Senior Legal Helpline, 1-888/895-7873, for free legal advice.
  • You can call the Florida Attorney General’s office, 1-866/966-7226, for their free Identity Theft Victim Kit that includes contact information for the three major credit bureaus and other valuable resources. Their web address
  • You can call the toll-free hotline for the Federal Trade Commission, 1-877/IDTHEFT, which has a central database of ID theft complaints that is accessed by law enforcement when they investigate ID theft complaints. Their web address is 

Updated: May 5, 2017 

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