identity theft

10 Signs That Your Identity May Have Been Stolen

According to information gathered by the Department of Justice and published by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, in 2012 alone around 7% of people over the age of 16 were the victim of identity theft in some form! This shocking statistic drives home the fact that you must stay on top of things to make certain you do not become the next victim. One of the keys to avoiding BIG issues with identity theft is to catch any issues early and put a stop to the problem. Keep an eye out for any of these 10 signs that you may be a victim of identity theft.

  1. Missing Mail – If you find you are not getting checks, bank statements or other items you’re expecting to come in the mail, it could be that someone is interfering. Track down these items to find out what the problem may be and get things back on track.
  2. Unauthorized Charges on Your Account – If you check your bank or credit card statement and see charges you don’t remember, don’t just assume you “forgot.” This can be a sign someone is using your financial information without your permission. Catch and report these as quickly as possible to deter any additional charges.
  3. Attention from Collectors – Have you been ignoring phone calls from a collection agency because you believe they’re calling you by mistake? It could be that these collectors THINK you owe them money because someone stole your identity.
  4. Loan Rejection – If you apply for credit and you are rejected—even though you think your credit is good—it could be that your identity has been compromised.
  5. Interest Rates Seem too High – Along the same lines as a rejected loan, if you get a new loan but the interest rate seems too high, it may not be the financial institution’s fault. You could have issues on your account because someone is using your identity for other purposes.
  6. Unexpected Gifts or Packages – Perhaps you get a “thank you” gift from a company in the mail that you don’t do business with, what would you do? Don’t just write it off as a mistake—it could be that someone else is making purchases in your name.
  7. An Influx of Mail – If you’ve been getting more mail than usual, this could be a sign that someone has stolen your identity which would generate more “junk mail.”
  8. Strange Emails – While we all get spam emails from time to time, sometimes you’ll get one that will really make you wonder. Don’t just ignore it—follow up and make sure that everything is in order.
  9. New Accounts on Credit Report – Check your credit report regularly and make sure that all the accounts are ones that you currently hold.
  10. Your Credit Card Company Puts a Hold on Your Card – If your credit card is denied, and you know available funds are not the issue, follow up immediately and find out why the transaction didn’t go through. One problem could be suspected identity theft.

These 10 things are some of the most common signs that you may be a victim of identity theft. However, they are not the only ones! If anything feels “wrong” about a transaction or something is not right when you look at your bank account, start making phone calls and get to the bottom of the problem immediately. Check out our tips on how to prevent identity theft here. Identity theft is unfortunately all too common and a big annoyance, but it is possible to right the wrongs before they spiral out of control—if you act quickly!

If you believe your identity has been compromised, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) immediately. They’ll be able to assist you in questions, and help you take your next steps to reclaim your life.


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