Identity theft is a real crime that impacts so many people. You might not think it can happen to you, but these identity thieves are always looking for another target. They send out phishing emails to get your personal information, they open credit accounts in other people’s names, and they run up bills that they never pay. You may not find out until your credit rating drops.
Some people have credit monitoring from one of the three major credit bureaus to stay on top of their credit score, but many people aren’t aware that it can happen to them. Identity thieves will target anyone; it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, young or old, or what kind of credit you have. If they get a hold of your social security number, your name, and your address, they can open an account in your name. Continue reading to learn how to tell if your identity is stolen.
You Get a Bill in Your Name for an Account You Didn’t Open
If you receive a bill that is addressed to you for an account you never opened, you might be a victim of identity theft. This might be a bill for an online store credit, or it could be a bill for a credit card. Maybe it is from online banking. If this happens to you, you should call the bank or store right away to find out what happened.
It is important to safeguard your confidential information because identity thieves can use it to open accounts in your name. You might save your information on an ecommerce site or you could put personal information on social media. Identity thieves might even get your information from old mail that you have discarded. Once you find out that you have been a victim, you should cancel the account, report the crime, and get in touch with the credit bureaus.
You Receive Calls From Debt Collectors
Another way to know that you are the victim of identity theft is to find that you are receiving calls from debt collectors for debts that you know nothing about. Debt collectors can be relentless, and they are not very understanding. They are used to hearing a lot of excuses, and their job is to collect the debt. This can be a horrible experience.
If you receive these kinds of phone calls, get the information on the debt. You should contact the police and file a report, and you need to let your own bank and credit cards know that your identity has been stolen. You should also check with the credit bureaus and freeze your account. It can take months to sort this out, and you need to get to work as soon as possible.
Your Credit Score Drops
Another sign that your identity has been stolen is being turned down for credit. Of course, you can get turned down for other reasons as well, but if you have good credit and are turned down, there is a good chance you have had your identity stolen. The first thing to do is check your credit report.
When you check your credit report, you will see what accounts you have open, which ones are closed, and what credit you have applied for. Collection accounts are on there as well. Go through this information very carefully to see if anything is amiss. You should check all three credit bureaus, and then alert them that your identity has been stolen. Call the police and the creditors to let them know.
Having your identity stolen is a frightening experience, and it can take many months to sort it out. This can cause serious problems for you, and it is important to do what you can to prevent it from happening. Make sure that you keep your personal information safe and do not store it online. Use strong passwords that are difficult to guess, and monitor your credit report regularly. Be active in protecting your identity.