Signs That Indicate Your Identity May Have Been Stolen
Having your identity stolen can be an absolutely life changing experience, and usually not for the better. It has the potential to ruin you financially, especially if it’s allowed to go on for a long period of time before being addressed. Of course, in order to address it, you need to first know that something has happened. So what are some signs that you can use to determine that your identity may have been stolen?
No one looks forward to getting bills in the mail. As it turns out, not getting them can be a problem in and of itself. Your bills have a lot of sensitive information in them that can be used against you if they fall into the wrong hands. If you’ve been expecting a bill and it just isn’t showing up, it may have been stolen for the purpose of obtaining information that can be used to steal your identity. Similarly, if you get bills that you shouldn’t be getting, someone may have opened an account in your name that you are now being charged for.
You Are Unable to File a Tax Return
Filing a tax return may be a stressful event for a lot of people. For those who find that they are unable to file a tax return because one has already been filed in their name, the level of stress can get kicked up to a whole new level. Unless someone in your household filed one for you and forgot to tell you about it, there’s a good chance that your identity has been stolen. To add insult to injury, your tax return has likely been funneled into the bank account of the thief. Filing your taxes early can be a good strategy for avoiding just such a problem.
Strange Credit Report Activity
You know it’s a good idea to keep track of your spending and credit card bills. That’s not enough to protect your identity though. You need to keep an eye on your credit report as well. If you notice strange charges being added or see unfamiliar accounts on your report, there’s an excellent chance that your identity has been stolen. Given that identity thieves don’t care about your credit score, that’s an issue you need to take care of post haste.
Finding out that your identity has been stolen requires you to pay attention and be proactive in monitoring your identity. Things like pieces of your mail going missing, being unable to file a tax return, and strange activity on your credit report are all signs that indicate that your identity may have been stolen. Take action as soon as you notice any of these signs so you can prevent even more damage from being done.
Identity theft isn’t the only type of cyber crime you need to watch out for. Check out these other Types of Cyber Crime you need to know about to keep yourself safe.
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.