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Can you recognize identity theft?

Identity Theft

Original Post: Aura.com January 6, 2023

How do you know? What makes identity theft so dangerous is that it is often hard to catch it BEFORE it is too late.

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America with tens of millions of victims every single year. Even worse, the latest research shows that over 50% of identity theft victims are repeat victims.

Criminals and con artists work in the shadows to steal your personal information, ruin your credit with debts, and take over your online accounts. It’s only when you notice missing money, are contacted by debt collectors, or worse, that you know you’ve become a victim.

Identity theft can strike anyone at any time. And while there are plenty of ways you can make yourself a less-desirable target, there’s no guaranteed way to prevent identity theft.

Instead, the earlier you can spot the warning signs of identity theft, the better chance you’ll have of shutting down scammers before they can do too much damage.

In this guide, we’ll give you a clear checklist of the signs of identity theft to look out for and what to do if you think you’re a victim.

25 Warning Signs of Identity Theft

  1. Unfamiliar charges on your bank statement
  2. Strange or unrecognized credit card charges
  3. New credit cards or loans in your name
  4. Unexpected calls from debt collectors
  5. You’re denied credit
  6. Bounced checks (if you know you have available funds)
  7. A sudden drop in your credit score
  8. Hard inquiries on your credit report
  9. Calls verifying unfamiliar purchases
  10. Your health insurance benefits limit is maxed out
  11. Unfamiliar medical bills
  12. Inaccurate information in your medical files
  13. Someone stole your income tax refund
  14. There’s a warrant out for your arrest
  15. Reported income that’s not yours
  16. Missing mail
  17. Your utilities are suddenly shut off
  18. Your ID is lost or stolen
  19. Unfamiliar bills or packages arrive at your home
  20. You can’t sign in to an account
  21. An account looks different when you log in
  22. Suspicious login attempts to your social media or other accounts
  23. Authentication messages for accounts you don’t recognize
  24. Emails alerting you of a data breach
  25. You receive a fraud alert

If you notice any of these warning signs of identity theft, your bank account, identity, and reputation could be at risk.

Find more information about what you can do at AARP, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, NH Department of Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-Trust Bureau

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