Some of the typical signs that your identity has been stolen include merchants inexplicably declining your checks or credit card, unfamiliar withdrawals on your account, not getting regular bills or other mail on time, or unfamiliar credit report accounts. One reliable way to check is using a free people search. Type your name into the search bar and see if anything unexpected appears online.
Signs of ID Theft
Your healthcare provider might reject a legitimate claim, telling you your records show you’ve exceeded your benefits limit. You might be billed for services you never got. Your records show an illness you were never formally diagnosed with.
An obvious sign is being contacted by a debt collector about a debt that’s not yours. People who’ve suffered tax fraud share that the IRS rejected their return or told them they had filed more than one. Another consequence of identity theft and subsequent tax fraud is being accused of concealing income from a business that you never worked for. Here are other ways to check and find out if your identity has been stolen.
Check the Mail Regularly
Not getting regular bills, credit card statements, or mail from your healthcare company is a cause for concern. The thief will change the address your credit card company or healthcare provider has and reroute correspondence to another one.
Getting a statement for an account you never opened, or an invoice for a product or service you haven’t used is a clear red flag. It might mean someone used your personal information to open an account illegally. Don’t overlook any unexpected mail from IRS.
Your Credit Report Will Show Theft
The purpose of a credit report isn’t just to establish your creditworthiness and credit score. It will show the first signs if your identity is stolen. You need a full copy of your credit report to carry out a thorough inspection of all of your balances and accounts. The entries on the report show open credit cards, student loans, credit inquiries, car loans, mortgages, and more.
Contact Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion to get a fraud alert placed on your report. The thief won’t be able to continue wreaking havoc on your financial record once that’s done. What’s more, most credit card companies don’t hold their customers liable for fraudulent charges someone incurred in their name and without their knowledge.
Your credit bureau of choice will ask for your personal information to verify your identity. Then, they will call the other two bureaus and all three will place a fraud alert on your report. Any company that wants to give you a loan in the next three months will see this alert. If someone applies for a loan in your name during that time, the lender will get in touch to confirm your identity and to verify whether you yourself applied.
What to do if You’ve Suffered Identity Theft
The FTC must create an ID theft report. The fraud alert placed on your credit report will either be basic or extended. Basic alerts are placed for one year and extended – for seven. You also need to get copies of any documents associated with identity theft. You must replace your vital documents.
You can stop creditors and debt collectors from reporting debt incurred in your name by disputing false information on your report. Identity theft will be proven by the FTC’s report, which will make resolving any problems caused by the criminals easier.
Report the crime as soon as you receive a statement showing unauthorized debits to a bank, credit card issuer, or another financial institution. You’re not liable for them if you report the theft within 60 days of getting the statement. Under the Justice for All Act, the court responsible must include you in all public proceedings.