9 Identity Theft Signs & What To Do If You Became A Victim Of It

by | September 8, 2021 | Cybersecurity, How to

Do you suspect you’ve fallen victim to identity thieves? Then, check these 9 identity theft signs and recommendations in the unfortunate case you’ve been scammed.

Identity theft is when someone pretends to be you after stealing your personal information and using it against your knowledge or permission.

How Identity Theft Can Affect You

If a thief gets ahold of your personal information, they can do a bunch of nasty stuff with it, including the following:

  • Open fraudulent credit cards.
  • File phony health insurance claims.
  • Use your existing bank or credit card accounts to make unauthorized purchases.
  • Sell it to other thieves.
  • File a fraudulent tax return or steal your tax refund.
  • Access your financial accounts and steal your money.
  • Commit child identity theft using your child’s information.
Watch out for identity theft signs if you suspect you've become a victim.

Identity theft can result in immediate financial loss and emotional distress. In addition, it can take years to resolve the problem. As a result, you may end up dealing with late payments, medical bills, penalties, and so on.

You may also lose account access, having your personal accounts taken over by cybercriminals, and overall loss of data privacy.

9 Identity Theft Signs

While you can’t completely avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, you can check for signs of a potential fraud before it becomes a major issue.

Always keep an eye on your credit reports. Also, watch for tradelines that you don’t recognize or remember opening. Your credit score is also an indicator of fraud – a sudden inexplicable drop can be a sign that something is not right.

In addition, keep in mind the following 9 identity theft signs:

  1. You aren’t receiving important mail such as bills or checks.
  2. You get bills for items you didn’t order or statements for credit cards you didn’t sign up for.
  3. You’re denied credit, despite having an excellent credit rating.
  4. You have unauthorized bank transactions or withdrawals.
  5. You’ve received notice that your personal information may have been compromised in a data breach.
  6. Your electronic tax filing is denied.
  7. You receive unauthorized authentication messages by text or email for unknown accounts.
  8. You get an email from an organization that says your account has been recently accessed and it wasn’t you.
  9. You receive a bill or an explanation of benefits for health care that you didn’t seek.

What Can You Do If You Suspect You’re A Victim Of Identity Theft

If you have even a hunch that you’ve become a victim of identity theft, the critical thing to do is limit the potential harm. If your credit or debit card was stolen, you should contact the card issuer and your bank as soon as possible. Some banks allow you to lock your account through a mobile app until you report the attack.

Also, consider locking or freezing your account. In addition, you can set up a fraud alert to notify lenders that you’ve become a victim of identity theft so that they verify your identity more thoroughly.

Remember that identity theft is a crime, so it’s a good idea to contact your local law enforcement agency.

However, before you report the crime, reach out to the Federal Trade Commission to file a report. You will be provided the steps you need to take to file reports, including police reports, and assist you in disputing fraudulent charges.

Being a victim of identity theft is a distressing experience. It can take months and tons of paperwork to recover your identity once cybercriminals steal it.

Better To Be Safe Than Sorry

Learning to read the identity theft signs and taking measures to prevent it can spare you great amounts of stress and financial loss.

Make a habit of checking your credit report and score regularly. An while you’re at it, watch out for suspicious transactions, accounts, and notifications, and act ASAP when you think something is off. Diligence will put you in a better position to spot and prevent identity theft before it ruins more than just your day.

Prevent Identity Theft With ATTACK Simulator’s Security Awareness Training

Identity theft can cause immense financial loss and image damage to your business. Unfortunately, your employees are the most attractive and weakest targets, so you should make implementing security awareness training in your company a top priority.

Phishing is one of the most common strategies that cybercriminals use to commit identity theft. To objectively assess your company’s exposure and vulnerability to phishing attacks, we strongly advise you to use our free security awareness training trial.

Our realistic phishing simulations will expose your employees to life-like hands-on fake phishing attacks.

Choose ATTACK Simulator’s Security Awareness Training program to provide your employees with the necessary security knowledge and up-to-date security practices to keep your company safe from scammers.

Attribution:

Computer photo created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com

Money illustrations by Storyset

People illustrations by Storyset

Data illustrations by Storyset

by Diana Panduru

Content writer for Attack Simulator. Passionate about all things writing and cybersecurity, and obsessed with driving. I sometimes indulge in pencil drawing, poetry, and cooking for fun.

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