ID theft victims now have an alternative to filing a police report, a self-service online reporting tool from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC's IdentityTheft.gov link offers a form that asks victims questions about the breach. The then provides a personal recovery plan, template letters that can be submitted to banks, merchants, and other entities that were affected by the victim's identity theft. It also creates an identity theft report that serves as the official record for the crime and could be used if needed in place of a police report.
Under certain circumstances, an ID theft victim will still need to contact the police to submit a report. Those cases include if the victim knew the ID thief, the ID thief used the victim's identity in any encounters with police, or a debt collector, creditor, or other entity affected by the crime demands a police report, the FTC stated.
The FTC said the goal of the online self-service form is take the pressure off of local police and help ID victims speed their recovery process after the crime.
Read more about the FTC's ID theft reporting tool here.