How to Tell if You’re an Identity Theft Victim

August 7, 2007

Many times  people will never realize they are an identity theft victim until they apply for credit. Like to buy a car or get a mortgage. A lot of new credit approvals will lower your score because of the higher amount of money you can borrow. This can happen because you personally have been applying or because a thief has used your identity for his own personal gain. Anytime your credit score is low, you’ll pay a higher interest rate.

Sometimes it even affects your premiums for your car insurance. Many auto insurers run a credit report on your before giving you a quote. Seems if you have a lower credit score, they consider you a higher risk driver. They’ll charge you more than a person with a score of 700 or above.

But that scenario above is for the lucky ones.

Here’s the unlucky scene….

The first time you get an inkling that your identity has been stolen is a call from a collections agency. The bills are way overdue now and you’re out of any grace period. At this point, your credit has been dinged pretty hard and your score is down there with the bottom feeders.

You may also get something in the mail about an apartment you never rented, a job you never had or a house you never bought. This is serious stuff – don’t ignore it. Immediately call the number on the letter to see what it’s about. And right after that, get a credit report from Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Yes, from all three.

You can keep a check on your credit to avoid any big surprises by getting a credit report every month. The credit reporting agencies will sell you a service that reports to you any changes or new accounts under your social security number. They will monitor them for you. Be aware that not all three agencies have the same information at the same time. If you have Equifax monitoring but they don’t pick up on a change, you won’t know. I have personally found discrepancies in my credit report numerous times. Don’t assume monitoring one agency is full protection.

Preventing identity theft is so much easier than fixing it.


4 Responses to “How to Tell if You’re an Identity Theft Victim”

  1. Rebecca Kline on January 10th, 2011 8:57 am

    I just received a strange call from someone asking me if I was Rebecca Kline, and when I said yes, they just hung up. Is that something to worry about.?

  2. The Identity 'Protector' on January 10th, 2011 3:46 pm

    Phone numbers are pretty much in the public domain, so probably this isn’t anything to worry about.

    The next time someone calls you and just starts asking questions, stop and think before answering. Find out who is calling. It’s somewhat common for thieves to get you to answering simple questions then once you’re in the answering mode, they’ll ask you more personal ones that you may answer w/o thinking first.

  3. k on November 4th, 2011 10:16 am

    A well known company has called me saying they were returning my call. I never called them . They said whoever spoke to them knew my name, address, and phone number..should i be worried?

  4. jay on March 2nd, 2012 12:29 am

    i was just in wal mart today and I was Trying to apply for a cell phone on a plan, well the lady that ran a credit report on my identification card got an unusual response,,,, She then showed me that a guy by the name of Matthew Foster had 3 seperate phone lines out in my name with all my personal information, but it said he was the account holder??? I have never headr of this guy before in my life. I got so worked up over the idea that someone had stollen my identity the my wife and I went to the AT&T store and had them pull up the same information, only for them to say that nothing was appearing on my credit report like the lady from wal mart had just showed us…….Then we were very puzzled about the whole mishap that we went straight in to the finance that we are through, again they ran the same information and nothing about a Matthew Foster and 3 phone lines came up on the system………So my Wife and I were just wondering has my identity been stollen or was there somehow a simple mistake??

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