Identity theft on the rise. Here's what you can do.

Young hacker with tablet working in data center with double exposure of night city. Concept of identity theft and cybersecurity. Toned image identity theft crime fraud tile / Getty Images

Identity theft is soaring, having doubled in frequency since 2019 to become the second most reported complaint according to the Federal Trade Commission. Today nearly every American has had their personal information breached at least once, and the likelihood is high that you will experience an effort to steal your identity at some point, perhaps more than once. But there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk and to act quickly to repair the damage in the event you do eventually fall victim.

For as long as human beings have maintained unique individual identities, crooks have sought to abscond with them. Early brutal examples involved the murder of the victim and the assumption of their physical identity by the criminal in order to evade the law or previous associates.