Identity theft and consumer fraud happens when someone else steals your personal information or tricks you out of it such as your name and social security number. Among other bad things an identity thief can open up accounts in your name and not pay the bills, absolutely wrecking your credit. Millions of Americans become identity theft victims each year and that’s why it’s important to recognize the signs that someone has stolen your information, so that you can protect yourself.
These telltale signs include, withdraws from your bank account that you can’t explain, your bills or other mail stop arriving, businesses refuse your checks, debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours, you get medical bills for services you didn’t use, your health insurance rejects your medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your medical benefits when you haven’t.
The IRS Notifications
The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return were filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer for whom you don’t work. You send your credit card information for a free trial offer and you start getting billed immediately for that service. You wire money to someone online and you never hear back from them. What do you do if some of your personal information is lost or stolen but you don’t see any suspicious activity? You should still take action; contact the credit reporting companies and place a fraud alert on your credit file.
You can also request a credit freeze which locks creditor access to your information so that no new accounts can be open in your name. Then check your account statements for unusual activity. Finally order a free copy of your credit report and monitor your accounts regularly for any suspicious activity in the future