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Identity theft occurs when someone else uses your personal information without your consent and for their own personal benefit. Identity theft is a serious problem for most people who experience it. Not only is it a violation of someone’s privacy and agency, but it can wreak havoc on one’s financial and legal situation.

Common Signs That Someone May Have Stolen Your Identity

It should go without saying that identity theft should be prevented at all costs. Even the best methods of prevention, however, don’t always work – that’s why everyone should become familiar with some of the common signs that their identity was stolen.

We’ve compiled a list of seven signs that someone else out there is using your personal information.

1. Your Credit Card Company Has Contacted You about Unusual Charges

One of the first signs that someone may have stolen your identity is if your credit card company has contacted you about unusual charges or charges that were made in usual locations. You will have to work with your credit card company to deactivate your card, determine which charges on your account are fraudulent, and order a new card with a new number.

2. You’ve Noticed Unfamiliar Credit Card Charges or Bank Withdrawals

Don’t depend upon your bank or credit card company to reach out to you. You should review your accounts on a regular basis to verify that all of the posted transactions are legitimate. Banks have developed pretty good methods at detecting fraud, but sometimes small withdrawals or transactions can fly under the radar and appear real – even to you, if you’re not carefully looking at what’s being charged and why.

3. Your Credit Score Has Taken a Dive

A lot of banks and credit card companies offer their customers services to assess their credit score without recording a hard inquiry. If any of these services are available to you, take advantage of them to monitor your credit score on a regular basis. If you notice any dramatic changes to your credit score and nothing about your borrowing behavior has changed, it can be a sign that your identity was stolen and is being used for someone else’s benefit.

4. Debt Collectors Are Calling to Collect Unfamiliar Debts

No one likes when a debt collector calls – especially when it’s for debt that they didn’t even make. When you are contacted by debt collectors trying to collect on debts you don’t know anything about, you should first attempt to collect more information about the debt collection agency to ensure this isn’t a scam itself.

If the debt collector is legitimate, then you must inform the debt collector by phone and in writing that you’ve experienced identity theft and you are not liable for the unpaid debt. In written communications, be sure to include copies of documents such as an Identity Theft Report and police report that verify you are a victim of identity theft.

5. You’ve Received Unexpected Credit Card or Account Statements

If you’ve received credit card statements or other documents in the mail that concern debt you don’t recognize, don’t ignore them. When someone uses your identity to access credit, they may use your actual address to avoid suspicion for as long as possible. If you receive such documents in the mail, check for other signs of identity theft and file a police report.

6. You Aren’t Receiving Your Expected Bills or Bank Statements

Sometimes identity thieves aren’t as high-tech as people think. Many still rely on stealing mail or digging through the garbage to get sensitive information. If you are used to getting statements or bills in the mail from your bank, credit card company, or any other creditor, it may be a sign of identity theft if you suddenly stop receiving them.

7. You Are Denied Credit for No Other Discernable Reason

One of the worst ways to find out you’re a victim of identity theft is when you’re actively seeking credit. If you apply for a loan or credit card, the lender will run a hard inquiry to make sure you are a good candidate. When you are a victim of identity theft, this check can reveal the damage someone else has caused to your credit rating by using your identity.

Identity Theft Insurance Can Help You Recover

For as low as $10 per month, you can protect yourself against the impact of identity theft with an identity theft insurance plan. When the unthinkable has occurred, you can get 24/7 assistance to help you with the damage to your identity; notify authorities, creditors, and government agencies of the theft; and get quick relief so that things get back to normal as quickly as possible.

If you are considering identity theft insurance, reach out to Insurance Specialists, Inc. today and let our experts walk you through your available options.

For more information, contact us online or call (888) 451-0883 today!