Identity theft usually goes undetected until well after the damage is done, which is one thing that makes it so scary. If you’re among the many Americans who wonder, “How would I even know if someone stole my identity?,” we are here to show you the warning signs. Read on to learn about ten red flags that indicate you may be a victim of identity theft.
10 Red Flags Someone Stole Your Identity
- You’re getting phone calls from debt collectors about debts that aren’t yours. If this happens, it’s time to check your credit report and get to the bottom of it. Which brings us to red flag #2 . . .
- You see accounts or charges on your credit report that don’t belong to you. You may not discover this until you’re denied credit or see that your credit score is lower than it should be.
- You’ve received medical bills for services you didn’t use. This is a major warning sign of , which costs the healthcare industry up to $247 billion a year according to the FBI. Another sign you’re a victim of medical ID theft is. . .
- Your health insurance denies a medical claim because they’re showing you’ve already reached your benefits limit. It’s likely someone else is using your identity to rack up medical bills.
- You see charges on your bank account that you don’t remember or are not yours. In this case, it’s your responsibility to notify your bank or credit card company about the fraudulent activity and get them to reimburse you. Or, if you have identity theft protection through ReliaShield, let us do the legwork for you. Learn more here.
- You’re missing bills or other mail. This could be a sign that someone has changed your billing address.
- The IRS notifies you that multiple tax returns were filed in your name. If you only filed one of them, who filed the other one? An identity thief who wants your tax return is a strong possibility.
- You receive a 1099 or other tax information from an employer you don’t work for. In this case, someone may be misrepresenting themselves to gain employment under your name.
- Your health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have. This is another form of medical identity theft.
- You have done business with a company who gets hacked in a data breach. Yahoo, Target, and Chase are a few companies affected by data breaches in recent years. Sometimes these hacks make the news and it’s always a good idea to pay attention when the story breaks. At ReliaShield we keep up-to-date on the latest data breaches and keep our clients informed.
What Should I Do If I Think My Identity Was Stolen?
If you come to the conclusion that someone has indeed stolen your identity, it’s not too late to do damage control. Here are three actions to take immediately:
1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
This will send a red flag to notify lenders they need to take extra steps to verify your identity before approving credit. Call one of the three credit bureaus (, , or ) and they will all get the message from there.
2. Change the passwords to your online accounts.
You want to do this immediately for any accounts you think may be compromised, so that a hacker can’t log back into your account. Use our step-by-step guide to create the perfect password here.
3. Get ReliaShield’s comprehensive identity theft protection.
ReliaShield’s Identity Theft Protection will get your life back in order quickly and smoothly. When you trust you and your family’s protection with ReliaShield, you’ll receive:
- Our 100% recovery success rate
- 24/7/365 Customer Support and Recovery Services
- Personal Information Monitoring
- Social Media Monitoring
- . . . and so much more!