Identity theft is a big problem around the world, costing consumers and companies billions of dollars every year. It is important to learn the warning signs that your identity has been compromised so that you can report the identity theft to the proper authorities and begin repairing the damage as quickly as possible. Here are some of the most common signs that you have become a victim of identity theft.
Expected mail is not showing up at your home.
If you begin to notice that mail you are expecting to receive is not showing up at your home as expected, it may be a sign that someone is stealing your mail or has stolen your identity. Thieves will access accounts and have any information about the account, including bank statements and credit card bills, rerouted to be sent to a location that they can access. Criminals commonly change the billing address on accounts that they access so it will take the victim longer to find out that their account has been compromised. If a statement doesn’t make it to your mailbox or your email account, it may be a good idea to contact your bank, issuer or service provider to see what is going on with your account.
You receive merchandise you didn’t order.
If merchandise that you didn’t order shows up at you door, there is a good chance that you have become a victim of identity theft. This can occur if a criminal gains control of an online shopping account and orders merchandise while forgetting to change the default shipping address. If items that you did not order arrives at your home and you recognize the shipper as a retailer you have shopped at before, contact the retailer to inform them that you received merchandise that you did not order and that you intend to return it. Then, change the passwords on your online accounts.
You get debt collection calls on debts you didn’t incur.
If you begin to get calls from debt collectors attempting to collect debts from you for creditors that you have never done business with, it is a sign that someone may have stolen your identity. If you receive an unexpected call from a debt collector, try to find out everything that you can about the debt so that you can find out if it is actually being attributed to you and have the mistake corrected. Be sure to keep careful notes of the steps that are taken to fix the error just in case you ever need to plead your case in court to have the debt removed from your credit files.