Recognize the Signs of Identity Theft before It's Too Late

Protect yourself from identity theft by being alert to signs of theft

Taking the usual precautions against identity theft is important, but equally important is recognizing the signs that identity theft has already taken place. According to the FBI, approximately 500,000 to 700,000 Americans are victims of identity fraud each and every year. However, many people don't realize the theft of their identity for 3 months to 3 years.

By the time of discovery, your credit and identity has already suffered much damage. Prevent this from happening to you; recognize the signs of identity theft before it are too late.

Signs of identity theft

Keeping yourself safe from identity theft requires a few simple tips. Here are several you need to be on the lookout for:

Receiving statements for credit cards and bank accounts you never opened

Wrong information on your credit card statements. This information may not just be your balance but can include your social security number, address, your name or initials, and your employer.

Not receiving expected bills or information

If you get a loan, or make purchases and the bill never comes, don't assume the business made a mistake and you got off scot-free. Often, identity thieves use your account and change the address on the billing information so you purposely don't get the bill. In the meantime, they are already running up charges.

Having trouble obtaining good lines of credit

Company's denying credit or offering rates that you consider bad for no apparent reason is a clear sign something's up. If an identity thief has been at work in the background, your credit ratings may already be in ruin. Denying you credit or getting bad rates is an obvious red flag that your credit is suffering.

Receiving calls and letters from debt collectors for items and services you never received.

If you have any of these things happening to you, your identity may have already been stolen. If not, be on the lookout and stay alert for these tell-tell signs.

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