How to Know (and be Warned) About the Signs Pointing to Identity Theft – Part 2
In our last entry, we discussed how identity theft was an increasing problem in the U.S. and how just about anyone can fall victim of it. In almost all cases, identity theft causes direct financial damage to the victim in the form of stolen credit cards or personal loans.
What is even worse, since there are countless ways in which this crime can be committed, there little to no hope of stopping it on its tracks. Instead, what consumers are advised to do is to keep their eyes open for any of the several signs that could indicate identity theft.
We already took a brief look at some of them in our past entry. Now let’s continue with a few more:
There is an Arrest Warrant for You:
Let’s say you are driving and for some reason you exceed the speed limit and you get stopped by the police for it. Suddenly, the police tells you there is a warrant out for your arrest. Naturally, you have no clue of what crime you are being arrested for. But the truth is that if someone steals your identity, not only can your finances and personal loans could be affected, the criminals could also impersonate you and commit a crime.
Your Medical Insurance Shows Some Issues:
A very common way to find out your identity, finances and personal loans could be compromised, is to attend a regular medical checkup or other medical procedure and be told that you are no longer covered by your insurance because you just used the coverage. Additionally, you could start receiving medical bills out of the blue for treatments you never undertook. This is a typical case of someone stealing an identity not to get a personal loan on your behalf, but to get medical attention.
Your Mail Starts to Run Thin:
If you are used to getting certain pieces of correspondence every week or month and they suddenly stop coming, this can be a sign of identity theft. Even worse: This could be a clear sign that the criminal might not have only compromised you savings and personal loans, but they might also have changed your address at your bank or lender. What this means is that the criminal might also be gathering information about you to create a more “reliable” profile for future crimes. Likewise, your personal loan receipts or other mail could be lost. Additionally, you could also start receiving unexpected mail.
All in all, you should be always cautious with any new piece of mail that you get and that looks suspicious. Even if it is something minor, it might be a sign of a larger problem and banks and your finances.
Your Applications for Personal Loans Are Continuously Unsuccessful:
It is understandable to be denied a personal loan once. But when it happens often and consecutively, there might be a problem with your credit score caused by identity theft. The same goes if for some reason you are unable to access your email or online banking account, both of which you alone are supposed to know the password of.
So, if you realize you have become a victim of financial identity theft, the first course of action that you should follow would be to contact all your banks, lenders and other financial institutions where you have savings or personal loans to make them aware of the situation. Then you should perform a full audit of your all your personal loans and the rest of your finances to find out any dubious transactions. This will give you enough time and proof to dispute all charges with your bank.
There you go. This ends our list of the different signs that could clearly point to financial identity theft issues. Make sure to put all this advice to the test and most importantly, use this information to protect your personal loans and your finances.