Warning Signs That You’re The Victim Of Personal Identity Theft
The people most vulnerable to identify theft are those who don’t know what the warning signs are. Make sure you aren’t left out in the dark by getting up to speed on these red flags. While they certainly do not guarantee that you are the victim of identity theft, they might persuade you to take a close look at your credit report to make sure that nothing fishy is going on.
You Get Turned Down For A Loan Or A Purchase
Getting turned down for a loan or purchase is a common identity theft red flag, especially if you have decent credit. If you apply for a loan and are turned down, your first step should be to ask the lender for an explanation. Because they have likely just run your credit report, they may be able to let you know if you were turned down for bad credit.
Your Mail Goes Missing
One way that identity thieves steal your information is by stealing your mail with sensitive information. Account statements and bills are prime targets for mail thieves. If you are one of the many Americans who still receive their bills through the mail, you are an easy target for identity theft. If you notice that you have not received your bills, you should call the involved company immediately to ask where your bill is. You should also immediately check your credit report for any suspicious activity.
You Receive Bills Or Phone Calls About Owed Money
If you receive a bill from a company that you have never transacted with or for a purchase than you don’t remember making, this should send off the warning signals. So should phone calls from creditors and debt collectors informing you that you owe money.
You See Unusual Withdrawals From Your Bank Account
Bank withdrawals that you didn’t make are a major red flag. Check your monthly statements carefully to make sure there are no oddities. If you notice any suspicious withdrawals, call your bank immediately.
You See Strange Charges On Your Credit Card
Take a close look at your monthly credit card statement. If you don’t recognize a charge, call your credit card company for further clarification.
A Company That You Have Done Business With Informs You They Have Had A Security Breach
Occasionally, the information database of a company (such as a credit card company) that you transact with will get hacked. If this happens, your personal information, including your social security number and billing information, could be stolen by hackers. If a company’s information database has been breached, they will generally let you know about the breach. If you receive a notice, you might want to check your credit report for fraud.
The IRS Contacts You
Another way that the thieves can take advantage of you is to file a fraudulent tax return in your name. The goal is to receive a large tax refund from the federal or state government. After you file your taxes, if you get a message from Uncle Sam that you submitted two tax returns, you need to contact the IRS immediately to figure out what is going on.
You Find Errors On Your Credit Report
If you do not already, you should check your credit report at least once a year. It’s free and it’s one of the best ways to detect fraud and check for errors. Get a copy of your credit report. It will list all of your loans and credit card accounts. It will also list other important financial important pertaining to missed payment, loan defaults and evictions. If you see something out of the ordinary, you can contact the credit rating agencies for further clarification. If fraud is going on, the Federal Trade Commission has a framework in place for fixing your credit report.
Your Health Insurer Rejects Your Medical Claim Because You Have Reached Your Coverage Limit
Another form of identity theft involves stealing your health insurance information and filing fraudulent medical claims. If your health insurer informs you that your health coverage limit has been reached and you have not filed any claims, you may be the victim of identity theft.
You Are Arrested For A Crime You Did Not Commit
Some identity thieves will give your name and personal information to the police if they get caught committing a crime. If the police come knocking at your door and allege that you committed a crime, identity theft might be the explanation.
It is impossible to prevent identity theft. However, knowing what the key signs are can help you to limit the damage if your personal information is stolen. Do your homework ahead of time and you’ll be able to act quickly if identity theft happens to you.