This report, sponsored by AARP, explores the aftermath of identity fraud and the resolution process from the perspective of identity fraud victims and their trusted circle of supporters who may, from time to time, assist in resolving identity fraud that affects a friend or family member.

This report was adapted from the annual identity fraud report, titled The Butterfly Effect, which was published by Javelin Strategy & Research in March 2023. Javelin maintains complete independence in its data collection, findings, and analysis.


Most identity fraud victims react to their victimization with shock, fear, and frustration. Feelings of disbelief and anger are justified amid a genuine and personal violation of privacy. The challenges of gaining a complete understanding of what has occurred, and the subsequent resolution process, can consume large quantities of time and resources—including that of individuals who are voluntarily assisting victims with the multitude of tasks required to mitigate such a complicated scenario. The following survival guide has been created to enlighten victims and their trusted circle of supporters about the basic process of recovering from and resolving identity fraud after it has occurred.

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