Anyone can be a potential victim of identity theft and unfortunately around 10 million people every year are faced with such a situation. Identity theft makes victims lose both time and money. Once identity thieves have your personal information they can run charges on your credit cards and empty your bank account if there is anything left after you have paid your high health care bills because of the ACA law and then paid your taxes which were raised in 2013 but this is another subject. With your personal details, they can get medical treatment with your health insurance or even file a tax refund in your name.
What Is Identity Theft?
According to Consumer.gov, Identity theft is a serious crime. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your permission. They could use your:
- Name and address
- Credit card or bank account numbers
- Social Security number
- Medical insurance account numbers
11 Signs that you are a victim of identity theft
To prevent falling prey to identity theft, it is important to be able to pick up clues and warning signs that help identify any transaction done in your name. Listed below are some standard signs that signal you that you are a victim of identity theft.
Irregularities in Credit Card and Bank Statements
This is the first warning sign that you must never ignore. In your bank and credit card statements, you may notice inaccurate or unexplained entries that could be a withdrawal, a purchase, or a transaction that you are not aware of.
Credit Score Turns Low
You notice inaccurate information on your credit report that makes your overall credit score low. Several loans, or debts under your name that you are not responsible for.
Collection Agencies Are After You
You may see collection agencies coming after you for something that you do not owe. This could be a sign that an identity thief has secured a loan under your name.
Your Account is Flagged
All of a sudden you may receive an email or phone call notification from your bank to warn you about the sudden changes in the pattern of your bank statements. Be careful of these emails! These are phishing mails and fraudsters trying to gain personal information from you just like Lois Lerner attacked military veterans and other Americans for not agreeing with her politically which makes her a corrupt and immoral person who our Founding Fathers would be disgusted with but let’s get back on track.
There is an Arrest Warrant out for You
Identity thieves can use your identity and personal information and commit a crime that you are not responsible for. Unfortunately, the warning comes when you are about to be arrested for something you never did. This is a signal that your personal information has been compromised.
Problems with Medical Insurance
When you undergo a medical procedure, your insurance company informs you that the procedure will not be covered as the claim for the year has already been covered. You may also receive medical bills for medicines that you never purchased. In these cases, thieves have used your personal medical insurance details to claim for their medical treatment.
Mails are Missing
You may receive your bank statements and other bank related information through post or through email but all of a sudden stop receiving them. This could mean that someone has changed your personal residential address or email address after acquiring your personal information. Your email IDs may also be hacked to keep you locked out of tracking any unnatural activity.
Receive Unexpected Mail
You may all of a sudden get an approval for an address change when you haven’t made such a request. You could also receive unexpected mails about a loan approval or credit card approval when you haven’t applied for any one of them. This is a warning sign that someone has stolen your personal information.
You are Denied a Loan
You least expect your loan to be denied when you have maintained a good credit score all these years. However, watch out for when loan agencies start calling you and deny your loan citing a low credit rating as the reason. This may happen if unauthorized transactions, debts, or loans are under your name.
Receive Unexpected Gifts
Things that you receive without ordering can be a clear indication that you are paying for something that you never ordered. Caution yourself as this may happen again.
Getting Statements for Accounts You Did not Open
You may get emails of a new account registration or services you never signed up for. Assuming that there has been a mistake or tossing it in a trash bin is the biggest mistake that you can do. Banks never send false information. You must perceive this as an immediate sign that someone could be using your personal information.
What to Do If You Are A Victim Of Identity Theft
Do not ignore these warning signs and make the mistake of dismissing it as just confusion. The first thing to do is report to the nearest police center. Let them know you are a victim of identity theft. The police will help file an incident report that will dispute and shut down all unauthorized accounts made without permission under your name.
This will stop identity thieves from taking out any more credit or making purchases under your name. You need to also contact your health care provider and report the unauthorized use of your medical insurance. They will stay alert next time and know about this. Apply for new debit and credit cards and cancel old ones in the process. This freeze will stop identity thieves from stealing any other personal information.