It is only natural to be concerned if you have lost something with your personal or financial information on it. If it fall into the wrong hands, you may end up with debt you did not plan on. This can make rebuilding credit a tedious task. However, if you do notice any suspicious financial activity on your accounts, there are plenty of ways to tackle this situation. First and foremost, how do you know that you are a victim? Let’s look at some of these signs.
How Can You Identify Suspicious Financial Activity?
When it comes to identity theft and suspicious financial activity, the important thing is to be on alert and know the signs.
1. Stay alert for the signs of identity theft.
- Accounts you didn’t open and debts on the account that are unexplained.
- Fraudulent or inaccurate information on credit reports – Social Security number, addresses, name, or employers.
- Failing to receive bills or other mail. It is important to follow up with creditors if bills don’t arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over the account and changed the billing address to cover their tracks.
- Receiving credit cards that you didn’t apply for.
- Being denied credit, or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a higher interest rate, for no reason.
- Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise you didn’t buy.
2. How do consumers find out if their identity was stolen?
- When bill collection agencies contact you for overdue debts that is not yours.
- Or, when your loan application process delays because of a problem with your credit.
- When you get something in the mail about things that are not yours – an apartment you never rented, a house you didn’t buy or a job you didn’t have.
3. Monitor relevant financial documents.
- Check up on financial accounts and billing statements regularly. Look for charges that are not yours.
- Get a copy of your credit report. Credit reports contain critical information. The law requires each of the major nationwide consumer reporting agencies to provide consumers with a free copy at their request annually.
- Carefully review your credit report for erroneous information. Check to make sure the Social Security number, addresses, name, and employer are correct.
- Consider freezing your credit once things have settled.