Do You Have Multiple Personalities? 10 Signs You are About to Become a Victim of ID Theft
Can your name ever be used to do bad things? Apparently, if your identity ever gets stolen, yes. For example, your name can be used to buy products that never get paid for or participate in scams that steal money from people using your bank account. You’re not on ‘Scare Tactics’, this is real life or at least the danger you’ll be facing online if you’re not careful. Watch out for these 10 signs to avoid becoming a victim of ID theft:
1. Your monthly bills and statements are missing from your mailbox.
Probably one of the earliest signs that you are about to become a victim of identity theft is that those bills, bank and credit card statements either arrive late or never get sent to your mailbox at all. It could be that the person who wants to steal your identity has changed your date of billing. It could also be that your billing statements have been re-routed to a new address to make it less obvious that your ID has been stolen.
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2. You receive credit card statements showing multiple purchases you never made.
Another sign that you might be a victim of ID theft is that your credit card statements arrive with lists of transactions you don’t know about. They could reflect items you never bought at shops you never went to.
3. Your credit card transaction was denied even if you’ve just paid your recent billing statement.
When paying for your purchases at the counter, your credit card gets denied. Strange, because you’ve just paid for your bill in full the week before. It could be that the thief who has stolen your identity has maxed out your credit card and has left you to deal with the problem on your own.
4. Your debit card statements show withdrawals on days when you didn’t make any.
You will find transactions reflecting several withdrawals from your debit card even if you didn’t use it. Your money’s gone and you’ll probably find it impossible to retrieve it.
5. The trash bags containing some of your personal documents that you didn’t shred have been stolen.
You’re wondering, ‘Why would anybody want to steal trash bags?’ Trash bags can mean a lot of opportunity for identity thieves because there is a wealth of information about you in them. If you’re not careful, your name, address, credit card billings, bank account numbers, even Social Security information may be exposed unnecessarily if you don’t dispose of them properly.
6. You receive billing statements from companies you don’t transact with.
One day, out of the blue, you receive a statement from a company showing that you owe them money. Unfortunately, you do not remember ever doing business with them, ever. When you check with the company, they confirm that yes, indeed you obtained something from them through credit and no, it wasn’t an error on their part.
7. You receive a billing statement from a new credit card you never applied for.
A new credit card is usually a good thing if you really wanted one but a billing statement from a card you never used? That’s a clear sign that you have become a victim of ID theft. Better call the credit card company to inform them that someone else is posing as you.
8. Your loan has been denied even if you have excellent credit.
Another troublesome indication that an identity thief is going to include you in his/her list of victims is that your loan application has been turned down. This, in spite of the fact that your credit is spotless as far as you know.
9. You get calls from loan agencies you’ve never applied a loan from.
When this happens, expect trouble. Loan companies call you up asking why you have defaulted on your payments. When you ask how it happened, they’ll tell you that someone pretending to be you has successfully applied for a loan and has reneged on the loan agreement.
10. You seem to have written bad checks and authorities want to talk to you.
Another sign that you have become a victim of ID theft is the strange transaction you seem to have done with a bank, such as open an account and write some bad checks. If you don’t correct this immediately, you could find yourself in a lot of legal trouble.
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