6 Signs That You May Be a Victim of Identity Theft
Identity theft can seriously disrupt your life. Aside from the many financial difficulties it can cause, you could find yourself losing your healthcare benefits or getting blamed for a crime an identity thief committed. Unfortunately, discovering whether you have become a victim of identity theft isn’t easy. Identity thieves work hard to keep you from finding out, though you can look out for certain signs proving a stolen identity. Here are some of these signs.
New Accounts Have Been Opened in Your Name
Reviewing a credit report can reveal signs of identity theft. For example, finding accounts opened in your name that you don’t recognize. Though this seems obvious once you check your credit report, it often goes unnoticed if you don’t regularly check it. This easy method is one of the reasons it is necessary to check your credit report regularly.
You Were Notified About Changes You Didn’t Make
Another clear sign of identity theft is when a financial institution informs you of changes made to your account. Not recognizing these changes is a red flag. Furthermore, unfamiliar charges on your account for places you never visited will also reveal a compromised identity.
You Have an Unexpected Change in Your Credit Score
It is not unusual for your credit score to change as you take out loans, use your credit cards, or pay off your credit card or loans. However, if your credit score suddenly changes for no apparent reason, it could indicate a problem. Therefore, you should check your credit report to see if it shows any signs of identity theft.
Your Information Was Part of a Data Breach
Unfortunately, data breaches have become increasingly common. As a result, the company must notify you if your information is part of a data breach. Should this happen, you will want to pay careful attention to your credit report, so you can act quickly if you discover someone has stolen your identity.
You Are Denied Credit
If you receive an unexpected denial when applying for credit, consider looking at your credit score because it may have dropped. This unexpected change could mean an identity thief has impacted your credit.
You Are Receiving Collection Calls
Another sign of a stolen identity is receiving calls from debt collectors about debts you didn’t incur. However, it’s best not to assume this because such calls may also be phishing. The best thing to do in either case is to check your credit report.
Identity theft can happen to anyone, and when it does, it can disrupt your life for years. Therefore, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent it. However, no matter how careful you are, it could still happen. So, keeping an eye out for signs of identity theft is also necessary. One of the best ways to do this is by checking your credit report regularly. Another important step you should take is to check for identity theft and run a self-background check periodically. This action will let you see if anyone has used your identity for criminal purposes.
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