The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office is committed to fighting identity theft by participating in regional efforts to identify and prosecute those responsible for this crime.
Identity theft is a crime that has substantially increased in recent years. The Better Business Bureau estimates that identity theft causes $52.6 billion in economic damage each year with an average of 9.3 million victims. It is one of the fastest growing crimes that directly affect our economy.
Personal information such as name, date of birth and social security numbers can be stolen or copied and used to open accounts, establish credit and run up debts that the victim doesn’t know about. It is difficult sometimes to find a suspect because the person who obtains the personal information is often different from the person who uses the information.
The District Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting the community from identity theft. As with all types of fraud, however, the most effective protection is a consumer’s own awareness and vigilance.
If you believe somebody has stolen your identity, California law entitles you to relief. Your local police agency — or the agency where the crime took place — must take a police report from you, and must provide you with a copy of that report to help clear your name. In cases of imposters creating false criminal histories for innocent victims, the law provides a system for clearing your good name and correcting state criminal history records.