Dealing with identity theft is often extremely stressful, and this ordeal can feel overwhelming. When you are unsure whether your identity has been stolen, reviewing some of the most common signs can help you to determine what type of action you need to take to regain control of your life, finances, and personal information.
Unknown Charges on Bank Statements
Check your bank statements in the mail and online as frequently as possible to ensure you do not have any unknown or unwarranted charges to your account. If you have noticed charges to your account that were not made by you or someone else who has access to your credit card, calling your bank and credit card company immediately to have the charges removed, reversed, and investigated properly. It is also highly advisable to apply for a new credit card or consider opening up a new bank account altogether, depending on how the charges were processed.
New Credit Cards in the Mail
If you begin receiving new credit cards in the mail in your name or in others' names with the same address, it may be time to investigate your credit score and any bank or savings accounts you have to your name.
Calls from Debt Collectors for Debts You Do Not Owe
Receiving calls from debt-collecting companies for debts you do not owe or purchases you did not make yourself is one of the biggest indicators that you are a victim of identity theft. When you receive calls from a debt collector for money you do not believe you owe, be sure to request as much information as possible about the transaction itself to ensure you are capable of tracking the thief.
Errors or Mistakes on Your Credit Report
Any time you check your credit reports, be sure to do so thoroughly to verify there are no mistakes, misinformation, or errors to report. When you have negative hits on your credit reports that are not relevant to any purchases or investments you have made yourself, you may have been a victim of identity theft.
Seeking Help for Your Identity Theft
Seeking professional assistance with an identity theft case can be done both offline and online. Before searching for an attorney to help with resolving the type of identity theft you are dealing with, it is important to gather any evidence and documentation you have to help with proving your case.
Understanding the devastating long-term effects of identity theft is a way for you to stay informed and educated on your personal information and financial data at all times. The more aware you are of your banking transactions, the less likely you are to become a victim of identity or credit card theft in the future.