Identity thieves can not only drain bank accounts and rack up credit card charges, but they can also get medical treatment using the victim’s health insurance, steal their tax refund, or sell the information to other criminals. Fortunately, some common warning signs of identity theft can help victims identify the issues and begin to resolve them. Learn these warning signs of identity theft in its various forms to help better protect yourself and your loved ones.
Warning Signs That an Adult May Be a Victim of Identity Theft
- Noticing unfamiliar credit card charges or bank withdrawals
- Not receiving expected bills or other mail
- Finding unknown accounts on a credit report
- Receiving unrecognized medical bills or having a medical claim rejected because of reaching the benefits limit for unfamiliar services
- Having a health plan rejected because of inaccurate medical records
- Having an e-filing rejected, or receiving an IRS notice about a suspicious tax return
- Getting an unexpected IRS notice that an online account has been created, accessed, or disabled
- Discovering IRS records with wages or income from an unfamiliar employer
- Being notified of a data breach
- Receiving calls from debt collectors
Children Can Be Victims of Identity Theft Too
Many parents don’t realize their children are also at risk for identity theft. Identity thieves will use a child’s Social Security number to open new lines of credit, apply for governments benefits, or rent a place to live. The theft may not be discovered for years until the child becomes on adult and tries to tries to access credit for the first time.
Warning Signs That a Child May Be the Victim of Identity Theft
- Receiving credit card or loan offers in the child’s name
- Getting an IRS notice that the child owes unpaid taxes
- Getting collection calls for a debt in the child's name
- Receiving bills for products or services in the child's name that the parent or guardian didn't purchase
- Having government benefits declined under the child's Social Security number
Better Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Identity Theft
There are steps you can take to better protect yourself and your family from identity theft and identity fraud. Download the white paper Your Guide to Identity Theft to learn more about the various types of identity theft and steps individuals can take to better protect themselves.
How to Report an Incident
According to the FTC, if you or a loved one believe you have been the victim of identity theft, report it immediately at IdentityTheft.gov, the federal government’s resource for identity theft victims.