How to Check if Your Personal Identity Has Been Stolen

Learn how to keep check of your personal details and understand the signs associated with identity fraud

Identity fraud is a real problem, especially when it goes unnoticed. There are many people who fall prey to identify fraud without realizing. Before they uncover the problem, they might have already lost a huge sum of money. To avoid this, there are several ways in which you can check for identity fraud – 5 simple signs that you can watch out for. Be vigilant, follow these steps and secure your identity today!

Are there any bills on your bank statements that you didn’t purchase?

As a conscious shopper and manager of your funds, you will undoubtedly check your bank statements regularly. You will have a great understanding of the items that appear on your statements, and should easily and quickly be able to identify any payments. There will be regular bills such as shopping, utilities, and gas, but are there any payments on there that you do not recognize? Even if the value is minimal (only a few cents), this could be a sign that someone has access to your credit card! If you notice a payment that looks untoward, check it out thoroughly and find out from the bank exactly what it is. If it is suspicious, contact your bank immediately.

Have you received any letters that are not related to something you have instigated?

Post, letters, and email are all forms of communication that are personal and can be traced back to you. Ensure you regularly check your post and emails to ensure that you are only receiving items relating to something you have instigated. For example, you might have signed up to an email newsletter or requested a brochure.

Are there any items that seem out of place, or for a product or service that you haven’t purchased? If you are receiving mail that you haven’t requested, this could be a sign that someone is using your personal details for their own gain. First check that the mail or email hasn’t simply been sent to the wrong address, if this is not the case, you should contact the   sending company ASAP and inquire as to why you have been sent this item?

Does your credit rating hold true?

Credit ratings are extremely transparent and should give a strong indication of any identity fraud. If you are a homeowner or manage your funds carefully you will undoubtedly have built up a strong credit score. Does this score hold true if you attempt to apply for a loan, though?  Have you been denied for any type of finance even though you believed your credit rating was sound? If this is the case, someone could be using your details in an attempt to make purchases and indirectly affecting your credit score.

Are you still receiving regular emails and post from your bank etc?

When you sign up for anything on the internet or through catalogs you will often receive regular mail or emails. Maybe you receive regular bank statements or updates on accounts you have with stores and leaflets containing coupons etc. Are you still receiving these forms of contact regularly? Are you still receiving some form of notification from the business that your account is current etc? If not, this could be a sign that your accounts have been accessed and someone has changed your listed contact details and address.

Does your wage tally with the amount of tax you are paying?

Are you paying the correct amount of tax in relation to your income? Have you been contacted by the government regarding an increase in tax payments? Was the tax deduction correct on your last pay check? If you suddenly start paying more tax, this could be a sign that someone is using your personal information to declare their income which in turn is affecting the tax you are paying. If this is the case, contact the authorities immediately.

As you can see, there are many warning signs to look out for, and for the vigilant individual, it is easy to spot identity fraud. Simply keep track of your finances, watch out for anything unusual, and double check anything that seems out of place.

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