Identity Theft

Seven Indicators You’ve Become an Identity Theft Victim

Identity theft and data breaches

In modern society, you can’t run and hide. Data breaches are quite common, as hackers are constantly looking to infringe on your confidential information. Every company, regardless of their size or net worth, has something valuable that thieves are looking to steal. Identity theft and data breaches are so common that it’s important you know when you’ve been victimized.

According to a report from the U.S Justice Department in 2012, 16.6 million Americans became victims of identity theft. The most common types of infringement related to credit cards and bank account information. It is estimated that the cost of this type of crime accounts for $24.7 billion every year.

The most common way that people learn they’ve been victimized is through their financial institution. Instead of relying on other people and institutions to protect us, we need to take proactive measures. The longer the theft persists, the more damage the hacker can do. That’s why it’s very important to be on the lookout for warning signs that your personal information may have been compromised. The easiest way to protect yourself, which many people don’t do, is to monitor their financial statements closely.

Here are the top seven indicators that you’ve become a victim of identity theft:

  • Your credit and/or debit card statements show purchases that you did not make. Do not ignore seemingly small and irrelevant charges. Criminals who come across stolen information often do a test run with a small purchase. If you don’t recognize a charge, report it immediately.

  • Statements are sent to you from unknown credit cards accounts. If your identity has been stolen, criminals can use your information to apply for credit cards in your name. Their goal is to go on a shopping spree before the fraud is caught and the account closed.

  • Calls from collection agencies regarding debt and charges you didn’t accrue. ID thieves may have pretended to be you and accumulate debt. Contact the company you owe money to right away to rectify the situation.

  • You receive a credit card you didn’t apply for in the mail. Similar to the above instance, call the company immediately to understand and fix the situation.

  • Inconsistencies or errors on your credit report. You are able to obtain a free credit report three times a year. We recommend you get a report every four months to look for anything suspicious.

  • You have good or great credit, but you notice your application for credit is denied. Don’t assume there’s been a mistake on the credit agency’s end. Reach out and find out what’s going on.

  • You notice that you’re not receiving mail or email that you typically do. Fraudsters may have changed your mailing/emailing address to their own. Investigate the situation immediately by contacting the companies that typically send you the communication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.