Note: Information about Identity Theft Awareness Week is from the FTC website.
The Federal Trade Commission is launching Identity Theft Awareness Week, Feb. 1-5, 2021, with a series of events to highlight steps consumers can take to help reduce their risk of identity theft and recover if identity theft occurs.
Identity theft happens when someone steals personal information about you such as your Social Security number or credit card information, and uses it to commit fraud. Reports about any type of identity theft topped the list of consumer complaints (link is external) submitted to the FTC through the third quarter of 2020.
As part of Identity Theft Awareness Week, the FTC will participate in webinars and other events to highlight what you can do to protect your personal information, red-flag warning signs of possible identity theft, and steps to take if identity theft happens to you. Events include a webinar on Monday, Feb. 1, with Identity Theft Resource Center and FTC experts discussing identity theft during the pandemic, and a Facebook Live discussion on Thursday, Feb. 4, hosted by the AARP Fraud Watch Network, focused on COVID-19-related identity theft, current trends, and ways to protect yourself.
You can find the full list of events at ftc.gov/IDtheftweek, along with details on how to participate and tips on how to reduce the risk of identity theft.
- Webinar: Ripple Effects of COVID-19 Related Identity Theft & Tips to Protect Yourself in 2021 (Monday, Feb. 1, at 1 p.m. ET)
Join experts from the Identity Theft Resource Center and the FTC for a discussion of identity theft during the pandemic — and steps you can take to protect your personal information. We’ll explore topics including identity theft involving unemployment benefits, federal stimulus payments, Small Business Administration loans, and more. The webinar also will be available for later viewing.
- The FTC and Identity Theft Resource Center partner for a LinkedIn Story “takeover” (Wednesday, Feb. 3, all day)
The FTC will take over the Identity Theft Resource Center’s (ITRC’s) LinkedIn Story to offer tips on protecting yourself against identity theft. Visit the ITRC’s LinkedIn page to learn about different types of identity theft, their warning signs, and how to recover if identity theft happens to you.
- Facebook Live: The FTC and AARP discuss identity theft (Thursday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. ET)
The AARP Fraud Watch Network talks with Shameka Walker, the FTC’s Identity Theft Program Manager, about COVID-19-related identity theft, current trends, and how to protect yourself. Join the conversation on the AARP Fraud Watch Network Facebook Page.
- Podcast: The FTC and Identity Theft Resource Center talk about identity theft and COVID-19 Shameka Walker, the FTC’s Identity Theft Program Manager, and ITRC leaders Eva Velasquez and James Lee, talk about current trends in identity theft, the impact of COVID-19-related identity theft, and tips to help keep your personal information safe on the ITRC podcast, The Fraudian Slip, available beginning 8 AM ET on Feb. 5.
You can help people learn about identity theft — whether you’re chatting with friends and family, sharing info on a social networking site, or taking resources to a religious group or PTA meeting. It’s easy to use and share these free resources from the FTC.
- Report Identity Theft and Get a Recovery Plan – IdentityTheft.gov
- Identity Theft Help Center – Identity Theft Resource Center
- Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft – the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
- IdentityTheft.gov PresentationUse this PowerPoint to show how IdentityTheft.gov makes it easier to report and recover from identity theft.
- IdentityTheft.gov Video
- Identity Theft Topics – Steps from the Federal Trade Commission that you can take to protect your identity.
Protecting Your Identity
What can you do to keep your personal info secure? Are identity protection services worth the cost? What about credit freezes? Check out the FTC’s identity theft articles to find out.
Resources for Businesses
Many companies keep sensitive information about customers or employees in their files or on their network. The FTC has free data security resources — including free publications, videos, and tutorials — to help businesses of any size protect their customers and meet their legal obligations.