Identity theft is a serious crime. It occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can cost you time and money. In fact, on average, an identity theft victim spends $500 and 30 hours resolving the problems. Identity theft also carries with it long-term effects. It can destroy your credit and ruin your good name. This guide offers advice on how to prevent identity theft from happening to you and how to correct it, if it does.