What can I do if I believe I am a victim of identity theft?

If you believe someone has stolen your identity, it is very important that you file a police report right away.  Identity theft can result in both a bad credit and criminal history for you.  An identity thief might use your name if they are arrested for engaging in a criminal activity.  Even if you have never broken the law, you might find that you were denied employment because you have a record of prostitution or substance abuse.  Once an identity thief has your personal information, they can use it in more ways than one to ruin your reputation and good name.

If you are a current foster youth, and are afraid your identity may have been stolen, you can ask your attorney or CSW for help in checking your credit.  If the judge knows you are having issues with identity theft, he or she can keep your case open until you get help in resolving the issue.    If you are a current or former foster youth whose identity was stolen, please call the Alliance for Children’s Rights at (213) 368-6010 and ask to speak to the Director of the Next Step Program.  The Next Step Program provides assistance for foster youth ages 18-24.  The Alliance for Children’s Rights can place your case with a law firm on a pro bono basis (meaning free of charge to you) to help clear your credit.  You can also contact the California Office of Privacy Protection (COPP) at (866) 785-9663, or the Identity Theft Unit at the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) at (213) 974-9459 if you need help.