Source Alt Text: A wallet containing credit cards sits open on a wooden table
Life can bring unexpected challenges, so it’s essential to know what to do. Anything can happen, even to your pristine credit history.
You worked hard to build an excellent reputation and credit, but hackers are lurking in every corner to take that from you. Their goal is to obtain your identity to make frivolous purchases, get you arrested, open up new accounts, and do whatever they can to destroy what you have earned.
If you suddenly obtain a massive amount of subprime credit card offers or bills from places and items that you have never purchased, then it’s time to take action. Debt collectors can call you to pinpoint certain activities on your account. If all these activities seem strange or mysterious, then there is the chance that someone has opened a credit card in your name.
At Identity Insured, we protect you from credit card identity theft with insurance that covers attorney and expert restoration, lost wages, and other expenses. If you find yourself in this scenario, here is some information to help you figure out if someone has opened a card in your name.
Check The Credit Report
The first step is to check the credit report. After all, it is the fastest way to confirm harmful fraudulent activities that have occurred.
If you see accounts in your name with which you are unfamiliar, this may indicate that you are a victim of identity theft. With that in mind, it’s vital to obtain copies of reputable credit reporting agencies like Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. This is extremely important, since some people committing fraud do so under the name of a credit company.
Clues That Someone Has Stolen Your Identity
- You find a lot of strange withdrawals from your bank account.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- You don’t get your mail or bills.
- Debt collectors are always calling you about debt that you never accumulated.
- Medical provider bills are placed in front of you pertaining to services that you didn’t use at all.
- You find strange accounts or charges on your credit reports.
Source Alt Text: A crumpled back withdrawal receipt lays against a white surface
- Your health plan got rejected because the records show that your benefits have reached their limits. They refuse to cover you because of a medical condition shown in your records that you do not actually have.
- You may get notices that your information is getting compromised from a data breach at the company where you have an account or do business.
- The IRS notifies you on tax return that was filed in your name or that you have income from an employer that you have never worked for.
File a Police Report
If you see a new account on your credit report, then it’s essential to act fast. The first thing that you want to do is to notify the authorities.
File a police report at the local police station. Plus, it’s advisable to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or FTC. The primary purpose of doing this is to provide evidence that you are not the criminal, but the victim.
In addition to that, filing a report and statement will gear the investigation in the right direction. That way, you can restore your identity and catch the thief instead of letting the situation escalate further.
Call The Creditors
After obtaining a report and statement from the police and FTC, it’s time to call the lender, card company, utility, bank, and other involved parties if applicable. You want to stop the thief before they rack up more charges in your name.
Source Alt Text: A white apple credit card is labeled “Jane Doe”
If there are new fraudulent activities, then there’s a high chance someone has gotten a hold of your Social Security number. You can block their attempt by doing a credit freeze on your report.
The freeze will prevent creditors from accessing the credit report, which will prevent them from opening up a new application for an account.
However, freezing your credit will make it challenging to secure new financial ventures and cover your current expenses.
If you want to apply for a new loan, then you will need to unfreeze the credit report. Luckily, most states allow victims of identity theft to unfreeze the account for free.
If you decided not to do a credit freeze, the best thing to do is to place a fraud alert on each credit report.
Dispute any unnecessary charges
After obtaining an FTC statement and police report, then it’s important to dispute the item with the creditor. Provide copies of the evidence to show that you did not purchase these items.
If the dispute fails or you have multiple credit issues, then it’s essential to get help from a lawyer.
Related: How to Check for Identity Theft?
Monitor the Situation
Source Alt text: An anonymous pen holder does paperwork to file for identity theft
Once you have completed the dispute process, it’s time to monitor the situation. You want to keep a close eye on your credit to make sure that no one besides you is making purchases with your account, or opening a new one.
The best way to monitor your credit is to check your credit score every month. Some companies can allow you to do that for free.
How Getting Your Identity Insured Can Help You?
According to the 2019 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy & Research, in 2018, there are approximately 1 million people who are victims of identity theft. These problems have resulted in $2.67 billion of loss and millions of expenses for families.
The numbers are high, but it makes sense. We are connected to the digital world on a constant basis. For example, working in Starbucks with free Wi-Fi can make us vulnerable to identity theft.
Fortunately, at Identity Insured, we can protect both you and your family from identity theft. This includes covering all the losses and damages that occurred and any additional expenses. Any personal expenses that have incurred can be reinstated. You can choose a protection plan for yourself or for your family with coverage up to two adults and 10 kids.
Once someone has full access to your information, they can drain your bank account, open new utility accounts, get medical treatment from your health insurance, and run-up charges on your credit card. They can even file a tax refund in your name, or get you arrested.
That is why it is vital to know the signs of identity theft quickly to prevent it from going any further. Fortunately, Identity Insured can help protect you against theft and help restore your name and reinstate damages in the case that it does occur.
With that in mind, it’s vital to act quickly to protect both you and your family from these fraudulent activities.