In the dark web, there is a big demand for stolen information that can be used to commit identity theft. Criminal outfits specializing in identity theft will go to great lengths to get their hands on your personal information, such as your bank accounts, credit card numbers, or date of birth.
Identity theft is a two-step process. First, someone steals your personal information. Then, the thief uses that information to impersonate you and commit fraud. Take a look at these statistics by IdentityForce. Of course, stealing your personal information isn’t the worst of the crime; it’s the second part of this process that does the most harm: using your information to commit credit card fraud, utilities scams; and leave you with an empty bank account. Signs that you are a victim of identity theft:
1. Your bank statement doesn’t look right
Even a small discrepancy on your bank account summary or credit card statement could be a red flag. Criminals sometimes make small fraudulent charges to test an account to see if a charge will go through. View your accounts regularly online and contact your bank or credit card company if you notice any suspicious charges.
2. You receive mysterious bills
Sometimes identity thieves steal their victim’s mail by changing their mailing address. They gather information from your mail and piece them all together to open new accounts in your name. Keep track of all your bills and bank correspondence in case you need to remediate these fraudulent charges.
3. You get calls from debt collectors
Inundated with calls from random collectors who insist you owe them money? Check your credit report for unfamiliar accounts or charges.
4. Your medical bill doesn’t add up
If you get a medical bill for a service you didn’t receive or your medical claim is rejected because you have already reached your benefits limit unbeknownst to you, it is likely something is not right.
5. Someone has already filed a tax return in your name
Criminals file taxes using your SSN, preventing you from filing taxes. They channel the refund into their account.
Keep an eye out for these telltale signs of identity theft to avoid getting being shocked later.