Even though governments, businesses and law enforcement organizations all over the world have been taking measures to clamp down on identity theft and rates have dropped considerably in the last few years, ID fraud does still happen. Believe it or not, it could potentially happen to you, so you need to be on your guard.
You would think that if you had been a victim of identity fraud, you would know about it right away. However, this isn’t always the case, and some people fail to get a credit card that offers adequate protection in the first place.
In some cases, it can take months for the crime to be spotted and stopped. The best way to make sure that identity fraud does not go unnoticed is to learn how to identify it, which you can do by looking out for these tell-tale signs:
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Credit Card Charges You Haven’t Made
A lot of people throw or file away their monthly bills without really looking at them, but this is just what ID fraudsters count on. You should always check your statement through carefully, just in case some charges appear that you haven’t made.
If you find any purchase or transaction that you didn’t authorize, you should investigate it thoroughly and inform your credit card company. It could be that someone has managed to get hold of your credit card details somehow and is using them to charge things to your credit card.
Credit Applications Being Turned Down
If you’re finding that your loan, mortgage and credit card applications are being turned down frequently, you need to check your credit file as a matter of urgency. It could simply be that your credit history isn’t too good and it has dragged your credit score down to a level that lenders aren’t happy with.
However, the reason your credit applications could be being turned down is that someone has stolen your identity and is using it to apply for credit, borrow and spend a lot of money and not pay it back. Needless to say, this can be hugely damaging for your credit history, and it can also cost you a lot of money, so you need to check your file right away. If someone is using your information, this is identity fraud and it must be reported right away.
Have you every been the victim of identity fraud or identity theft? How did you handle it? How did you first realize that you were the victim of identity fraud?