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How to Detect Identity Theft

Stay alert for these signs of possible identity theft:

  • Accounts you did not open.
  • Fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit reports.
  • Failing to receive bills or other mail. Missing bills could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address.
  • Receiving credit cards that you didn’t apply for.
  • Being denied credit for no apparent reason.
  • Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses asking for payment on purchases you never made.

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, file a report with the police and contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at or by phone at 1-877-ID-THEFT.

The Office of the Texas Attorney General has compiled an ID Theft Victim’s Kit (PDF, 573K) that outlines six specific steps to take and provides documents and vital contact information you will need to address the effects of identity theft.

You can also contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at

OnGuard Online, the Federal Government’s website devoted to online security, offers advice on what to do if you are victim of identity theft.

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