If someone opened up accounts in my name without my permission, is this identity theft?
Maybe. If anyone (even a spouse, family member, boyfriend or girlfriend) uses your personal information to open up an account in your name without your permission, this could be considered identify theft. Some examples of personal information that someone might use are your Social Security number, credit card and banking account numbers, usernames, passwords, and patient records. Fraudulent (dishonest) uses of this information may include opening new credit accounts, taking out loans, stealing money from financial accounts or using available credit.1
Each state law defines identity theft differently. Some states may call it “identity fraud” or something similar. The Identity Theft Resource Center links to state-specific government websites that have the laws in each state. You can also find legal resources near you who may be able to help if you have been a victim of identity theft. Click on your state in the Identity Theft Resource Center’s U.S. map to find your local resources.
You can also call the Identify Theft Hotline to speak one-on-one with a counselor at 1-877-ID-THEFT.
To read more about steps you can take if you think you have been the victim of identity theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission website on identity theft.