Are You an Identity Theft Victim?

5 Signs Your Identity Was Stolen

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Perhaps the worst thing about being an identity theft victim is that you don't discover that you fall into that category until well after an ID theft has occurred. Acts of identity theft fraud have run rampant in recent years and are likely to continue. Identity thieves can be as resourceful as anyone when it comes to honing and improving their craft. So it is definitely in your best interest to look for some warning signs that may indicate that your identity has been stolen.

What are some top signs that indicate you may be an identity theft victim?

Although identity thieves can get extremely creative, most of the skilled ones tend to use tricks they know will work — identity theft methods that have a track record of success. Here are five signs you need to watch for, five signs that give a strong indication that someone else is using your identity:

  1. Your bills and other financial statements don't arrive. If your regular credit card, utility and other financially oriented bills and statements don't arrive on their usual schedule(s), someone might have changed the address.1 Even worse, identity thieves may just have ripped you off the old-fashioned way — stealing your mail right out of your mailbox.

  2. There are checks missing from your checkbook. Identity theft fraud is not limited to the computer.2 Plenty of opportunistic identity thieves may also be skilled pickpockets. If you keep a very well-organized checkbook and you find any checks missing or unaccounted for, look things over again. If there are still checks missing, your identity may have been stolen.

  3. You have a debt collection agency after you. The top identity thieves are experts at "pinning the blame on someone else." Could that someone be you? If you have a collection agency hounding you for debts you know aren't yours, your identity may well be in danger.

  4. You apply for credit and are turned down. If you apply for credit and are flatly denied, something might be wrong.2 If you know your credit record is strong and you think you understand the rules for receiving credit, you might be an identity theft victim.

  5. You receive a credit or charge card you know you never applied for. Identity theft is an invasion of your privacy in many ways. If someone out there has your personal information, they might as well be you. Keep that in mind if you receive a welcome letter and credit card from a company you don't recall contacting.3

What is identity theft monitoring?

Identity theft happens, and that's a fact we all must accept. But organizations like Privacy Matters offer you identity theft monitoring to help you actively fight ID theft before it happens. Similar to credit monitoring, identity theft monitoring will quickly alert you to any changes in your identity status. Privacy Matters can provide you with an identity theft report, a comprehensive document that details your personal and financial history. The identity theft report comes complete with an identity theft score, created by a personal security expert to assess how simple changes to your daily habits can significantly reduce your risk of identity theft.

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