One of the biggest crimes that many people don’t recognize right away is identity theft. And the biggest problem with not being able to see what is happening is the amount of damage that can be happening behind the scenes.
There are some signs that you can look out for to see if you’ve been a victim of identity theft. You need to be even more careful if you are trying to make money from your phone. If you see any of these occurrences below, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is definitely identity theft, but it is at least an indicator that something could be going on.
Additional Account on your Credit Report
At least once a year you should be checking out your credit report. You can get one free once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you notice on your report that anything seems unfamiliar on the account, you should report it immediately. This could be something that is going on regularly, so it is essential that you check into your information to make sure nothing unusual is going on.
Where did This Bill Come From?
If you receive a bill in the mail from a company you don’t know, obviously you won’t pay it. But, this is also a sign that your thief decided to open a new account under your name. The scariest thing of all of this is that they will have access to your home address. If you receive something like this, you will want to call the company immediately. And, after seeing this, if you hadn’t checked your credit report in a while, now would be the time to do so.
There is nothing more frustrating than when you go to purchase something and your credit card gets denied. It can be a very embarrassing moment as well as very confusing. If you know that you are under your limit and should not have run into a denial message, this could be another red flag that someone has your account. As with the other reasons above, in addition to calling the company right away, you will want to check your credit report.
Call from a Collection Agency
Another annoying call from a collection agency! But, they catch you off guard when they identify an account that you didn’t know about is overdue. You will want to engage in a conversation with them right away and explain the situation that could be happening and get that card stopped immediately.
Credit Score Drop
Everyone wants to try to keep their credit score as high as possible. It can help save a lot of money in the future. Many people are proud of their credit score and have an idea of where they want the number to be at. If you keep a regular eye on your credit score, you will notice right away if something seems off. If you don’t check regularly, you should see where you are at currently and then check periodically throughout the year to make sure there are no substantial drops.
People who are desperate to get a hold of your information may resort to stealing your mail. It is hard to imagine someone getting that close to your house and rummaging through all your personal information. Pay attention to see if you are missing bills that should be coming in. It is wise to receive your mail electronically so that you will see it arrive in your inbox each month and you’ll have the opportunity to spot if the total is not what it should be.
You also want to be careful of what you throw away into the trash. You should plan on shredding all bills that you have before throwing it away. There are many dumpster divers out there that can easily get access to your trash and see what you have in there.
Social Security Concerns
There are many instances where people without a social security number use other people’s number when starting a new job. Many companies today use technology to track identity thief to stop any illegality before it happens. The technology available to use to identify identity thieves is amazing. Jumio is one of the leading forces in identity verification. Jumio’s document verification can scan crumpled documents, which opens a whole world of possibilities to identify people.
In addition to checking your credit score, you should also check to make sure that the income on your Social Security account is actually yours. There are several websites online that offer the ability to check your social security account.
If you go and apply for a credit card or a loan and it is denied unexpectedly, this could be another piece of evidence that theft has taken place. The companies will let you know you why you were denied, and they will typically offer you a free credit report. If they do, take them up on that offer and see what is going on.
It is all too easy these days for hackers to get information from you. It is so important that you keep up to date on everything associated with your credit. It was reported that over 16 million people were victimized by identify theft in 2017.
Be sure to track all your bills and know exactly how much and where your money is going. Setting up automatic withdrawals is a great idea to make sure you are never late, but you need to either set a limit or check in to see how much money was withdrawn each month. It is better to assume that someone has your information than not.
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