Identity Theft: Detecting Identity Theft

Posted by on February-2-2009 under Save Money

This is the fifth article in my series of articles on Identity Theft. In the previous articles, I explained what exactly the Identity Theft is (read here), what are various methods in which your identity can be stolen (read here), and what to do for Preventing Identity Theft(read here). In this article, I will try to explain how to find if you have become a victim of Identity Theft.

As I mentioned in my previous article, despite all the cautions you might take, it is still possible that you can become a victim of Identity Theft. One of the possible scenario is that Identity thieves steal the information that is stored by your financial institution. So, it is very important to continuously monitor suspicious activities to ensure that you have not become a victim of identity theft. Following are some of the ways to find out early if you have become a victim:

Be alert to signs that require immediate attention:

1) Bills that do not arrive as expected
2) Unexpected credit cards or account statements
3) Denials of credit for no apparent reason
4) Calls or letters about purchases you did not make

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Inspect:

1) Your credit report: Credit reports contain information about you, including you accounts and your bill paying history. The law requires Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it. Visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228, a service created by these three companies, to order your free credit reports each year. I normally review one credit report from one agency every 4 months. In this way, I am able to review my credit reports throughout the year.

2) Your financial statements: Review financial accounts and billing statements regularly, looking for charges you did not make. Such charges give an early indication of a possible Identity Theft.

Monitoring all the above items continuously would quickly help you in finding out if you have become a victim of Identity Theft. The earlier you find that out, easier would it be to get it resolved. If you are not aware for a long time that your identity has been stolen, then that would give opportunity to the thieves to commit multiple frauds in your name. Know of some other way to detect Identity Theft? Please share with us in Comments section.

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Once you find out that your Identity has been stolen, there are some steps that you quickly need to take. In the next article, I will explain what do to if your Identity is stolen. Click here to read that article

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If you have some thoughts to share with others, or know someone who has been impacted by Identity Theft, please click here to leave comments





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2 Responses so far.

  1. [...] Identity Theft: Detecting Identity Theft Even though you might be taking all the right steps for preventing Identity Theft, you still can be hit by this. Yes – that’s a sad fact. Simply because there are so many ways that it can happen (as mentioned in the above article), it might be possible that Identity Theft thieves are still able to get to you in some way. So, it is very important to be on a constant vigil to see if your identity has been stolen. Here are some very simple steps to do the same. Click Here to read this article [...]

  2. [...] to monitor certain things to quickly identify if you have become a victim of Identity Theft. In my next article, I explain how to find whether you have become a victim of Identity Theft (read here), and in the [...]


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