Your personal information is a commodity in the digital age. It can be bought, sold, and traded online. Many websites and even apps require you to enter your name, address, email address, phone number, or other identifiers to set up an account or log in. This makes you a target for identity thieves who can use that information to commit fraud and other crimes. If your personal information falls into the wrong hands, it could lead to identity theft. But how can you tell if someone is trying to steal your identity? Are there warning signs that indicate you are at risk?
Watch for Unusual Activities With Your Financial Accounts
If someone gets a hold of your bank account information, they might try to access your financial accounts. You might notice unusual activities with your accounts and a drop in your credit score. If you see any of these signs, check your accounts immediately. If you notice any unusual activities, take immediate action to secure your accounts, change your passwords and review your credit reports.
Unexpected Credit Reports
An unexpected drop in your credit score is one sign of identity theft. But another sign to keep an eye out for is unexpected credit reports. If someone steals your identity and applies for new credit cards, loans, or utilities in your name, it could show up as an error on your credit report. This can be extremely harmful to your credit score and your ability to get loans in the future.
A Constant Flow of Unknown Calls and Emails From Companies
If you receive a constant flow of calls or emails from companies that you don’t know, this could be a sign that someone is attempting to fraudulently use your information. Some examples of this are an insurance company calling you about an auto policy, a utility company contacting you about a past due bill, or a credit card company contacting you about a payment. These companies should have your correct contact information, so getting a call or email from them is unusual.
A Dormant Bank Account Is Closed Without Explanation
If you have a dormant bank account that you don’t use, you might notice that it suddenly closes without explanation. This could be because someone has deposited fraudulent funds into the account, or it could be because someone has gotten control of your banking information and closed the account. To avoid this, make sure to keep your unused bank accounts safe from identity thieves by not logging into those accounts or keeping your login information private.
You Receive An Unwanted Product Or Service In The Mail
If you receive an unwanted product or service in the mail, it could be a sign that someone is trying to open fraudulent accounts in your name. Some examples of this are a credit card pre-approved offer, a free gift card, or a free magazine subscription. If you receive something that you did not order, you should not open it. Instead, throw it away immediately.
Identity theft is a serious problem that can take years to correct. If your identity has been stolen, it can take months to get your name back. The best thing you can do is stay on top of your accounts and be aware of any unusual activity. If you see any signs that your identity may have been stolen, you can catch it early and report it to the authorities. If you’re diligent in monitoring your accounts, you can catch identity thieves in the act and have them arrested before they have a chance to do real damage. It’s also important to keep all of your personal information secure. This includes locking your computer when you’re not using it, protecting your passwords, and shredding any documents that have your personal information on them.
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