We have all become accustomed to hearing people talk about how they’ve fallen victim to identity theft, but how do you recognize the signs to know if you have fallen victim, too? Many people believe that using a monitoring service will help them know when they have had an identity theft incident, but the unfortunate fact is that the most serious forms of identity theft are not able to be tracked with monitoring services. The most serious types of identity theft, which also happen to be impossible to track with monitoring services, include tax fraud and medical identity theft. Here are a few telltale signs of a possible identity theft.
- Unknown credit inquiry
Most of us have access to our credit score information on a regular basis. This is a blessing because not only are we able to keep track of how our credit history is progressing, we are also able to see what is called a credit inquiry. This is when a lender pulls your credit for the purpose of seeing how trustworthy of a borrower you are. Usually this can happen with auto loans, home loans, and even a new credit card application. Credit inquiries stay on your credit report for two years, so you can see who requested and when your credit report was pulled. If you see an inquiry that you do not recognize, this might be a sign of identity theft.
- Bills in your name that aren’t yours
Checking the mail can be a little daunting near the end of the month when you see all of the bills that you have to pay, but what if you then notice a collection notice from a company to which you don’t remember owing money. Criminals will often open fraudulent accounts in another person’s name and then skip on paying the bill, leaving the real person with the unpaid bill. If you notice a bill or collection notice from a company that you’ve never worked with, that may indicate that you have become a victim of identity theft.
- Denial of credit
You have access to your credit score information regularly, and you have been working on increasing your credit score for a while, in the hope of purchasing a new car for the family. Great! Well, when you go to apply for the needed loan, you’ve been denied. This is weird because you’ve taken every step to make sure that you would be approved. There may be something on your credit report that you haven’t seen, and potentially didn’t do yourself, that may be preventing you from getting a loan.
- Tax return filed already
IRS tax fraud is one of the most common form of identity theft these days. It is easy for a criminal to fraudulently file a tax return in your name and have the refund check sent to them. Criminals will do this in a factory format so that by the end of their game, they have received millions of dollars in tax returns and turned the lives of thousands of people upside down by stealing their identities. If you go to file your tax return but the IRS claims that they have already received or processed your tax return, there is a good chance that you have fallen victim to the fraudulent tax return factory.
- Address change on your credit report
When you look at your credit report, you probably only pay attention to that magic three digit number, hoping that it has increased since the last time that you checked, but one thing that is often overlooked is the personal information linked to your account. Is the address correct? The phone number up to date? Make sure all of your personal information is correct because if it is not, then you may eventually fall victim or have already fallen victim to identity theft.
The bottom line is that there’s really no better time than the present to become a LibertyID member for identity theft restoration protection. Our extended family plan covers the member, their spouse/partner, the member and spouse’s/partner’s parents and their children. We’re the AAA of identity theft restoration, offering a 100% guaranteed identity theft restoration service. But just like with AAA, you have to get covered before there’s an incident. When you sign up for LibertyID, you’re covering yourself and your family from the fallout of identity theft and the potentially hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars lost due to identity theft.