How to Know (and be Warned) About the Signs Pointing to Identity Theft – Part 1
Imagine this: You are at a restaurant or any other shop buying stuff as usual and you use your debit card or credit card to pay for your meal or other items. The, without your even knowing about it, your card is used a few days later in Atlanta to buy a few computers and perhaps even a car. Naturally, since the purchase is made on another city, your bank will flag the purchase as suspicious and, if you are lucky, perhaps even cancel the card. But none of this before the thief takes up to a few thousands, for which you will have to pay getting a personal loan.
Believe it or not, identity theft is a very real (and growing) issue in our country. In fact, according to the identity fraud report of last year, the number of cases of identity theft have increased by an impressive 13 percent. In all of these cases the finances of the victims are compromised, with more than 11.6 million people in our country being victims of it and losing savings, personal loans and even credit card funds.
The big problem with identity theft that causes it to compromise the savings and personal loans of so much people is that it can be done in several different ways and it all depends on how creative the person perpetrating the crime ca be. What this means is that there really is no way to stop identity theft for good. All we are left is to learn how to see the signs that we might be victims of it in order to keep our savings and personal loans safe and secure.
That said, here are a few things that should immediately raise red flags for you if you notice them, since they could be clear signs that your identity is being stolen:
There are Strange Errors on Your Bank Statement:
This will be very likely the first sign of identity theft you will find. When receiving your statement either online or in physical form, you might see a strange or unexplained charge: A small withdraw, a check or even an electronic transaction or a receipt for a purchase that you don’t recall ever spending on.
Your Credit Reports Shows Some Unexplainable Errors:
Asking for a copy of your credit report regularly is a very financially healthy habit that always lets you know if you can apply for personal loans. In it you can find and easily notice any inaccurate information that might indicate identity theft. Some of the most common indicators of this could be credit inquiries you don’t recognize and even a new personal loans account you are sure you didn’t open.
Your Account is Suddenly Flagged:
Out of a sudden, you might receive a call, a letter, or an email coming from your bank or personal loan lender that notifies you that your account has been placed in a warning state. This is a clear sign of irregularities and could be a consequence of someone else using your financial information to make illicit purchases or to try to get a personal loan. I you receive these kinds of emails, also make sure to contact your bank or lender before doing so in order to verify their veracity.
Many Debt Collectors Start to Call Out of Nowhere:
You are resting at home and suddenly a debt collector calls you out of nowhere to ask when are you going to start repaying your purchase or personal loan. Naturally, you know nothing about this transaction. But it might already be too late and the thief could have already stoled funds from your account or personal loan.
That’s it for today. Check out the next entry in this two-part series to find out about even more signs that your identity (and thus your finances and personal loans) might be compromised.