Signs that you have been a victim of identity theft.
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, the creator of the “You might be a redneck if . . .” joke lines is a very funny guy. Identity theft, however, is not a funny subject. Paraphrasing Jeff’s hook, I would like to alert you to the possibility of your having been a victim of identity theft.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, should keep an eye out for identity theft. Your first step will be to order and review your free credit reports every year from each of the national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). If you see information that makes no sense to you in any of the reports, that will be an identity theft red flag. At a minimum, you should write to the credit bureaus and demand that the incorrect information be removed from your reports.
Although we won’t discuss here how to extricate yourself from the theft of your identity, we would like to give you some pointers as to what to look out for. We can’t list all the possible signs, however, let’s explore a few. Here we go.
You might be a victim of identity theft if . . .
There are collection entries in your credit report that don’t belong to you.
You are turned down unexpectedly for a job.
You are turned down unexpectedly for a loan.
You see bogus charges on your credit card statements.
You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
Your regular bills or account statements don’t arrive on time, or at all.
Merchants refuse your checks.
Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.