Once an identity thief has your personal information, he or she can run wild with it. By recognizing the signs of identity theft, you can take immediate action to protect yourself from any further financial damage or harm to your reputation. Keep these top warning signs in mind as you safeguard your personal and confidential information.
Unusual Account Activity
An identity thief might start to use your credit or debit card information to make cash withdrawals or purchase goods. You might log into your account and discover mysterious debits or charges at places you do not patronize. You might find that your shipping address has been changed to some other address. You may stop receiving mail related to your longstanding credit cards or bank accounts.
Accounts You Do Not Recognize
Once an identity thief has your personal information, he or she could use it to open new accounts in your name. You can find this by checking your credit report. You might also notice new mailings about credit cards or lines of credit that you never applied for. Debt collectors might start to call you for accounts you never knew about.
If an identity thief attempts to use your medical insurance, you might start to get bills for services you never received. When trying to buy a new insurance plan, you might be denied due to a condition you do not have. This could happen if someone else has been using your identity to get treatment.
Someone could steal your identity and file false tax returns with the state tax department or the IRS. You might get a notification from the IRS that you were already claimed as a dependent. The IRS could send you a letter stating that you earned income from an employer where you have never worked. You might get property tax bills, liens or utility bills for places where you have never lived.