Millions of innocent people fall victim to identity theft every year. It is scary how many people have their identity stolen and don’t realize it until it’s too late! If someone breaks into your car, it is easy to spot the evidence. But with identity theft, it is easy to miss the warning signs if you aren’t careful! The time and effort it can take to fix the damage of a stolen identity is significant. Other than unauthorized bank account transactions and withdrawals, there are several signs of identity theft!
- Unknown bills – Thieves are known to open new accounts using someone else’s information. If you receive a bill for a credit card that you don’t have, it could be identity theft. It is important to contact the card issuer immediately and check your credit reports regularly!
- An unexpected drop in your credit score – You earn every point of your credit sore. You take pride in your score and are always striving to improve it. A drop in your credit score is never a good thing, especially when it is someone else’s doing. If you notice an unexpected drop in your credit score, it is important to find out why. Call the FTC (Federal Trade Commission agency) immediately and file an identity theft report. This will document the incident and get a credit freeze on your account until the issue is resolved! An identity thief could have opened new accounts in your name and increasing the balances without your knowledge!
- Missing mail – An old trick that identity thieves still use today is stealing your physical mail! They will take mail right out of mailboxes, searching for important documents. It is important, especially during tax season, to retrieve your mail daily. Have a secure mailbox that you can access quickly when the mail comes. If you are expecting checks and bills but never receive them, it could be because someone is stealing your mail. Shred important documents before throwing them away because thieves like to go dumpster diving too!
- The IRS says someone has already filed an income tax return in your name – Beat the thieves by submitting your tax return documents as early as possible. If someone has your social security number, they can file in your name and receive your tax return.
- Social Security statements show unknown income earnings – It is quite common for someone to use an American citizen’s social security number when starting a new job. It is imperative to confirm all your true income earnings through your Social Security account.
Firefighters Credit Union works directly with an identify theft software called: CyberScout, to let you know how at risk you are of having your identity stolen. We offer FREE identity theft resolution to all Firefighters Credit Union members! Having your identity stolen can be a frightening process but working fast and with the right people will ensure your protection. It is crucial to know all the warning signs that will inform you if your identity has been stolen. The faster it is caught, the faster and easier it is to repair the damage. We will help you through the entire process and find a