How Do You Know Your Identity Has Been Stolen?

How Do You Know Your Identity Has Been Stolen?

Do you suspect there’s been a breach in your personal information sometime after you disposed of your old credit card statements? Misusing personal information to gain either monetary or non-monetary benefits is becoming increasingly common.

Whether identity theft occurs through sharing personal information online or through social security numbers, everyone is at risk of this crime. Research has shown that credit card theft was most common, with over 167,000 people reporting a fraudulent account being opened in their name. Here are some ways you can identify when your identity has been stolen.

Incorrect Financial Records

You might find online banking convenient enough to make a transaction. But how often have you checked your account statements? Whether you’ve purchased anything or not, you should regularly examine your bank statements. Look out for any withdrawals that you can’t explain or recognize.

At the same time, get your full credit report and look out for any suspicious and unknown charges or accounts. This report typically includes credit inquiries, student loans, auto loans, open credit cards, and your account’s payment history.

But it also shows signs of identity theft. An example of this is if debt collectors contact you about dues that don’t belong to you or merchants reject your checks.

You can optimize your visibility and access by requesting a credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus every four months.

Mail Problems

Being mindful of what you receive and don’t receive in your mail can detect identity theft signs. If your credit card statements, bills, or correspondence from healthcare institutions stops coming, this could be a red flag. This happens when identity thieves change your healthcare records address or with your credit card providers to receive your personal information.

It could also work the other way when medical providers charge you for services you never used. Or your health plan refuses your genuine medical claim as your records display that your benefits limit has been reached.

Receiving unanticipated mail from the IRS about multiple tax returns being filed in your mail or that you’re being refused your tax refund are both concerning situations. This is because the IRS only transmits information through the US Postal Service.

A man working on his laptop and making notes

Data Breach

Considering the swiftness with which technology has advanced, identity theft can easily take place online. If you’re notified that your information suffered due to a data breach at a company you work with or have an account in, it’s another sign of identity theft.

In either case, you should first file a report at the Federal Trade Commission website and safely retain a copy of the identity theft report.

Ready to hire an experienced lawyer for background check inaccuracies? Cook Lawyer, LLC, offers credit report errors, bankruptcy check errors, debt harassment, and more, with 11 years of experience! Call us at (314) 260-6116 for a free consultation with Attorney Matthew Cook!

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