If someone steals your identity, you’ll most likely want to go straight to the police and report the identity theft. However, what you need to know is that in most cases, you don’t need to report identity theft to the police. According to the eternal Trade Commission, instead, you can report the crime on the FTC website IdentityTheft.gov.

This article can help you in filing a police report when you need to and will guide you through processes such as: 

  • When to report identity theft to the police
  • How filing a police report helps you
  • Steps to take when reporting ID theft to the police
  • Tips for submitting a police report
  • When to report identity theft to the police

The FTC says it’s important to report identity theft to the police in these three cases: 

  1. You know the identity thief, or you have other information that could aid a police investigation.
  2. An identity thief used your name in an encounter with the police; an example might involve a traffic stop.
  3. A creditor, debt collector, or other affected party insists you produce a police report.

In most other cases, you can report identity theft to IdentityTheft.gov. The FTC set up the website as a one-stop-shop for reporting many types of identity theft. It also helps you to set up a recovery plan.

If you’re wondering why it’s important to report identity theft, consider the following points:


  • It acts as a declaration of your innocence
  • It helps to start an investigation
  • A police report serves as your sworn statement that you were not responsible for any crimes the thief committed using your name. If someone accuses you of a crime committed in your name, you can show them your sworn statement. 

Filling an “Identity Theft Report” at IdentityTheft.gov serves a similar function, in most cases, as it is an official statement about the crime. The FTC recommends filing an Identity Report first, and to include it in your police report when you register one. Keep in mind, with either report, that you are legally obligated to tell the truth to the best of your knowledge. If you don’t, you may face criminal penalties.

If you decide you want to report identity theft to the police, here are the steps you can take:

Go to your local police office, as well as to the police office where the fraud took place with this information:

  • A copy of your FTC Identity Theft Report
  • A government-issued photo ID
  • Proof of your address, such as a mortgage statement or utility bill
  • Any documentation you have of the theft, such as credit card statements, IRS notices or collection notices 
  • Tell the police someone has stolen your identity, and you want to file a report. Ask them to attach your FTC complaint to the police report


With luck, filing your police report will go smoothly, so you can concentrate on taking steps to recover from identity theft. However, some police departments may not be fully prepared to take your report. For instance, officers may be preoccupied with other crimes or may be unfamiliar with how to handle identity theft cases.

Here are some tips that may help things proceed smoothly:


  • Be firm but calm when seeking to file a police report
  • Try to remain flexible, as the police may send you to a website to fill out a form instead of taking your information in person.
  • Contact your state attorney general’s office if the police are unable or unwilling to take your report. States may have different processes for filing a report. An attorney general’s office or website may be able to provide the details.
  • When you make a police report, try to be as detailed and as specific when you give information about the identity theft, such as dates when accounts were opened in your name or who might have committed the fraud. 
  • Make copies of your identity theft police report and your FTC complaint. You’ll need these to resolve any disputes with companies where the identity thief used your name.

In the end, reporting identity theft to the police or the FTC is a smart step to take, as it could save time and money while you recover from identity theft. 

All of these seem like an awful lot of trouble to go through. Rather than waiting for something like identity theft drive you to see the police to file a report, maybe it’s better to be prepared in times of need. Identity Protection services work night and day to make sure that the things listed here is something you never need to worry about. To get protection for you and your family, visit our list of the best Identity Protection services.