Identity theft is stressful and can wreak havoc on your finances. It is important to recognize the signs early.
The sooner you notice something is wrong, the faster you can take action to minimize the damage.
The Better Business Bureau recommends the following tips to help you recognize the signs of identity theft as soon as possible.
1. What is the first red flag that someone may have stolen your identity?
You receive statements or invoices in the mail for accounts you never opened.
If you receive an invoice for an account you haven’t authorized, someone may have got hold of your personal information and opened an account in your name.
Contact the company immediately to find out if there has been an error and check your credit report for any unusual activity.
2. You apply for a loan or credit and you are refused. Could identity theft be the cause?
You might think you have great credit, but if you are just applying for a credit card or loan and are shocked to find that you have been rejected, you could be the victim of credit card theft. ‘identity.
Thieves can open accounts in your name, drive up the bill, then default on payments, ruining your credit before you know what they’ve done.
Check your credit report several times a year to make sure no one has opened a credit account in your name.
3. What are the other red flags?
- Your usual invoices no longer appear in the mail
- You notice suspicious activity on your bank account
- You notice suspicious charges on your credit card
- You receive authentication messages for accounts that you have not configured
- IRS rejects your tax return
- IRS informs you that a tax return has been filed on your behalf
- Your credit score inexplicably improves or deteriorates
- You are suddenly denied medical coverage
- Debt collectors call for debts you ignore