Identify theft happens a lot and can happen to anyone and at any time. There are a few things you should watch out for on your credit card statements and other financial information. The sooner you can spot the identify theft the sooner you can get it taken care of and try to fix the problem. Just look for these signs and if any of them are happening on your statements, then get it taken care of.
1. One of the biggest signs is that you are getting collection calls regarding accounts you don’t know about. If you are getting these kinds of calls someone has likely been using your identity and opening accounts for quite some time. This is one of the biggest signs that means you have been a victim. For this put in place a fraud alert or freeze your report.
2. There is an account you didn’t open on your credit report. Read your credit report carefully and if there is an account you don’t recognize don’t just think it’s an error. It is most likely someone using your identity. You need to dispute it through the different credit bureaus to get it removed.
3. If you are denied for a loan, top credit card or anything else. This is only if you know you should qualify. Every time you are denied you are eligible for a free credit report, so use it to look and see if there is anything on there that shouldn’t be.
4. Your credit report has inquiries from places you don’t know. If you have been applying for credit make sure you know where you are applying from. Make sure that all of the recent inquiries were made by you and if not keep a closer eye on the report.
5. If your statements stop arriving. The person stealing your identity can easily have the address on the account changed to a different address. If you aren’t getting your statements then call the credit card company and see what is happening. Also, make your mailbox more secure so mail won’t be stolen.
6. Your credit card isn’t where you put it. If your credit card is missing it might have been lost or even stolen and it should be reported as soon as possible. The sooner you report it the less likely you will be liable for the fraudulent charges.
7. You get statements for accounts you didn’t open. This is a big one, if you are getting statements for card you don’t have or never opened. This is a sure sign you are a victim and you should get it taken care of right away.
Identity theft can happen to anyone and you should be aware and vigilant. If any of these things are happening, then look into it because getting your life and identity back after it is stolen can be a time consuming process as well as expensive. Don’t just assume people are making mistakes because most of the time that is not what is happening and if you don’t catch it fast it can snowball into a much bigger problem.