Identity Theft - 7 Warning Signs

by: S. Terry

Concerns regarding personal Identity Theft are growing stronger as more announcements are made regarding compromised databases and files from credit card companies and financial institutions.

It is even more alarming when you realize how simple it is for someone to steal your identity and ruin your credit.

Here are a 7 Red Flags to watch for that could signal an identity theft attempt:

1. You are not receiving your mail - including utility bills, credit card statements, magazine subscriptions. Know when your financial statements are normally delivered and contact the company involved if you don't receive them. Someone may be stealing mail from your mailbox or has successfully forwarded your mail to another address. Contact the post office to see if a change of address or a forward mail request has been flagged for your mail.

2. You notice charges on your credit card statements that you have not made. Contact the credit card company immediately, an identity thief may be using your credit card number.

3. Withdrawls made from your bank account that you haven't made (both small and large amounts). Someone may have compromised your debit card or duplicated your checks. Contact your bank immediately.

4. You receive credit card statements from companies that you do not use. Contact that financial instituation immediately as someone may have been successfully approved for a credit card with your information.

5. Credit denial letters from financial institutions that you did not apply for. Someone may be applying for credit cards, loans or lines of credit in your name. Contact the financial institution immediately for more information.

6. Credit demand phone calls or letters from creditors demanding payment on credit balances in your name. Someone may have successfully obtained credit with your information and defaulted on payment.

7. You notice your garbage being tampered with. Someone may be sifting through your garbage looking for information that will help them assume your identity.

Methods for catching attempted identity theft as soon as possible are monitoring your mail for missing items, tracking your financial transactions, and knowing at all times what your balances are and what transactions are made (amounts and locations).

Online security is also an important tool to fight against personal id fraud as viruses, trojans, unsecure shopping sites and spyware become more prevalent online. Visit for Online Security Tips & Tools that can help you protect yourself online.

Identity theft is a very serious threat that can do severe damage to your personal credit. For more information on what Identity Theft is, what to watch for and methods to protect yourself, visit Identity Theft Tips for more information and resources.

You may not be able to protect yourself completely from Identity Theft, but you can watch for it and notify your credit companies quickly before too much serious damage has been done to your good name.

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