How to Detect Identity Theft

For the serious problem of identity theft, knowing how to detect if you have been taken advantage of is a very important skill. Identity theft is one of the most common crimes in the world today. Many people do not even realize that they have been the victims of identity theft until it is too late. Here are the basics of how to detect identity theft.

Unknown Charges

In order to detect identity theft, you should regularly look at your financial statements in detail. You need to look at every transaction on your bank statements as well as on your credit card statements. Even though this might be tedious, it will help you detect possible identity theft early on. If you notice any transactions that you do not remember making, these could be signs of identity theft. If you see any unauthorized purchases, you need to contact your bank or your credit card company immediately. If you notify them quickly enough, they will be able to prevent further access to your account, and you may not be responsible for the charges that were made.

Passwords

In today's world of online banking and online account access, it is very convenient to get on the Internet and check out your accounts. However, this also creates a scenario that could potentially allow someone else to access your financial information. Many people have fallen victim to a phishing scam that has successfully acquired their passwords. Many times, you will receive an e-mail that looks official, telling you that you need to change your password. When you do, you have provided your existing password to a criminal. They will then use your password to access your account and change the password so that you will not be able to access it anymore. If you go to log on to your account, and you cannot get on, this could be a sign of identity theft. Contact the company immediately and ask if there is some type of technical error. If there is not, let them know what is happening, and they will be able to take the necessary steps to protect your account.

Credit Monitoring Service

There are many companies now that offer a credit monitoring service to customers. You can pay a monthly subscription fee to have a company watch over your credit for you. They will continually monitor your credit report and watch out for any fraudulent activity for you. They will be able to notify you immediately when something is entered into your credit file. For example, if there are several credit inquiries within a short period, this could be a signal that someone is trying to take advantage of your identity. The credit monitoring service will call you or send you a text message to ask if you are the one inquiring about credit. If you are not, then they will know that someone is trying to steal your identity and they will prevent it from happening.


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