Know the warning signs of identity theft.Once thieves have your personal information, they use it to steal money from your bank account, run up charges on your credit card, open new accounts or get medical treatment on your health insurance. Identity thieves can even file a tax return in your name and get your refund or give your name to the police during an arrest.
So, how can you identify identity theft? The following are warning signs that you are likely the victim of identity theft. They all don't point directly to identity theft, but each is an indicator that something is amiss and you should take notice.
- Unexplained withdraws from your bank account.
- You no longer receive your credit card bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- Unfamiliar charges on your credit card.
- Your credit report contains unfamiliar accounts or inquiries from businesses you do not recognize.
- Medical bills for services you did not use.
- Rejection of a submitted medical claim due to reaching your benefits limit.
- Medical records show a condition you do not have.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name.
- Your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
- You get collection calls about accounts you never opened.
- You are unexpectedly denied for a credit card, loan or other service.
- Unexpected drop in your credit score.
- Social Security statements show earnings that aren't yours.
If you think that you have been a victim of identity theft, report the concern immediately to IdentityTheft.gov who will assist you with creating an Identity Theft report and a personal recovery plan.