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How can I tell if my ID has been stolen?

Monitor the balances of your financial accounts--read your statements! Look for unexplained charges or withdrawals.

Other indications of identity theft include:

  • failing to receive bills or other mail, which may signal an address change by the identity thief,
  • receiving credit cards for which you did not apply,
  • being denied credit for no apparent reason, or
  • receiving calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you did not buy.

Although any of these indications could be a result of a simple error, you should not assume that there’s been a mistake and do nothing. Always follow up with the business or institution to find out.

If an identity thief is opening new credit accounts in your name, these accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You can find out by ordering a copy of your credit report from any of three major credit bureaus*. Check your report carefully to make sure it is accurate. If you do find any inaccurate information, you should check your reports from the other two credit bureaus. Note: If your personal information has recently been lost or stolen, you should check all of your reports more frequently for the first year.

*The three major U.S. credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on February 22, 2004 at 01:51 PM | Permalink

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