Guide 2 Identity Theft - How To Protect Yourself

   
Guide 2 Identity Theft

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Basic Information
 What is Identity Theft
 How It Happens
 Types of Identity Theft
 Warning Signs

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Guide 2 Identity Theft   >   Warning Signs

Warning Signs That You May Be an Identity Theft Victim


If you have lost any of your important identity or financial documents, such as your credit card, you may be at immediate risk of identity theft.
  • Your credit card may enable a thief to undertake financial transactions in your name

  • Your passport or driver's licence, or your social security number details, could enable an identity thief to pass himself off with your identity
Another thing to watch out for, are any signs that your mail is being tampered with. If you spot any such signs, it may well be an indication that an identity thief is active. If your bank or credit card statements are not arriving as normal, your alarm bells ought start to ringing. A common tactic of identity thieves is to intercept these statements to delay your ability to see what is happening to your financial affairs.

Another warning sign of identity theft is if bills start to arrive for purchases that you did not make. Keeping these from your attention is another reason why identity thieves may take a close interest in your mailbox.

Your mail, or part of it, may have been redirected to another address, either through a redirection order being lodged in your name with the postal service, or by notifying a change of address to the people sending mail to you, especially your bank. If you suspect something is wrong with your mail deliveries, check whether this has happened.

Here are some other things to be on the look out for:-
  • If bank, credit card statements and bills are being intercepted, there may be other subtle signs of a developing problem, for example, thank you letters, receipts, or follow-up promotions from companies you have had no contact with.

  • You may encounter unexpected problems with financial services, such a hire purchase, loan, credit card or mortgage application that indicates your credit status has deteriorated. You can order a copy of your credit file from credit reference agencies to see whether it shows dealings with companies and transactions that you have no knowledge of.

  • You may be turned down for a state benefit of some kind or social security payment on the grounds you are already receiving it - because an identity thief has already claimed it in your name.

  • You may find that someone has taken out a mobile phone in your name, possibly signing up for an expensive contract.

  • And, perhaps the biggest warning sign of a growing debt problem is if credit managers, financial institutions, debt collectors or solicitors try to contact you. This may well be by telephone if your mail is being tampered with.
If you feel that there is evidence of an emerging problem, you should immediately initiate a review of your financial affairs, and begin talking to unfamiliar companies that seem to think they are doing business with you. This is very important, because the earlier you can detect identity theft and take action, the less damage will be done to your reputation.

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