With recent news reports of data breaches at major corporations and identity theft being a rising issue every year, it’s important to know the biggest signs of identity theft. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of signs of identity theft. If you notice something is fishy with your sensitive information, take action immediately.
1. You don’t recognize activity on your bank accounts
This includes credit card statements and transactions, withdrawals you didn’t make, and receiving bills for accounts you never opened. Monitor your bank statements and account history closely, as smaller payments here and there can go by unnoticed.
2. You don’t recognize activity on your credit report
Similar to unusual activity on your bank statements, this includes unfamiliar accounts or charges, accounts you didn’t open, and inquiries from businesses you haven’t worked with or don’t recognize.
3. Regular bills stop coming, or you receive bills for accounts you didn’t open
Thieves can change your address to prevent you from seeing the charges they’ve made. If either one of these happens, contact your credit card provider to confirm your address and let them know you suspect identity theft.
4. Your credit card is missing
Immediately contact your credit card issuer if you notice your card is missing. Many issuers have protection plans for cases like this, and they can give you steps to take to cancelling and replacing your missing card.
5. You are unexpectedly denied a credit card or loan
This can happen if your accounts have a negative payment history, so it’s good to know if there are any fraudulent accounts connected to you. Lenders will tell you why you were denied, especially if it’s because of information on your credit report, and inform you of your right to a free credit report. See the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
6. There is a data breach with a company you use
You may have heard of the recent data breach at Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies, and their users’ account information being jeopardized. There have been other recent data breaches at major companies. Should you find yourself affected by a data breach, see our blog post here about what to do next.
7. Your health care-related finances don’t line up
This can include:
- medical providers billing you for services you didn’t use
- your legitimate medical claim is rejected because records show you seemingly reached your benefits limit
- your medical records show a condition that you don’t have, leading to a health plan not covering you as planned
8. You are notified that more than one tax return was filed in your name
If an identity thief has the right information, they can file a tax refund in your name and get the refund that is yours. This can also include getting an income from an employer you don’t work for.
Call Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. today if you suspect identity theft
While this isn’t necessarily a direct sign of identity theft, it’s important to regularly request your free copy of your credit report. Carefully monitoring the information on your credit report and immediately reporting any false information can save you a load of more problems in the future.
Here are a few helpful links:
- Equifax Data Breach
- Identity Theft FAQ
- False information on your credit report
- Get Identity Theft help
The lawyers at Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. are ready to protect you and your identity.