Having your identity compromised is scary, and often people notice much too late in the scheme. Knowing some of the red flags of identity theft is vital in catching the problem early and taking action to protect yourself and your assets. In Identity Lockdown, James R. LaPiedra, CFP shares some of the important red flags to look out for that may point to your identity being compromised.
1. Unexplainable Withdrawals
Check your debit and credit card statements each month for any discrepancies. Keep receipts or any other form of record keeping so that you know exactly where you are spending money- and how much. If you notice a very small, random transaction it may be a sign that someone is compromising your account. They may start with small transactions (under $5) and then very quickly move into much more expensive withdrawals. Catching the problem early will result in fewer headaches and a much easier case to solve.
2. You Receive Calls From Debt Collectors
Are you receiving calls from debt collectors, about debt that you did not incur? This may also be a red flag that your identity has been compromised. Ask questions when you get on the phone with these collectors and then contact your bank immediately. Even if it was just a wrong number, you need to ensure that someone isn’t driving your credit score in to the ground, under your name.
3. You Are Not Receiving Expected Bills
If you receive your bills by mail, you should receive them around the same time each month. Don’t ignore missing bills and statements- this could be a sign that someone else is getting them. While not getting a bill may seem like a relief, you need to be concerned about why you aren’t getting them. It could mean that someone has compromised your identity, and changed your address to his or her own under your identity.
4. Your Credit Score is Not What You Expected
Experts recommend checking your credit score about once a year. This is a good number to know if you are working on improving your credit or applying for any kind of loan. However, a significant change in your credit score may point to someone else utilizing your identity. Never just accept an unexplained change in your credit. Instead, you should go to your bank for more information on what is going on.
Your ID is important to us. Detecting identity theft early is important in the ease of recovering losses and getting to the bottom of the damages and issues. However, it is even better to protect your identity from this happening in the first place. Check out the protection plans offered by ID 360 and pick the plan that works best for you. These are only some of the red flags that point to your identity being compromised. For the full list and more tips for protection and detection, get your copy of Identity Lockdown.