Our identity forms a core and fundamental part of our lives. It defines who we are and shapes our actions especially with regards to how we interact with others in society. As our modern day society becomes more digitally connected, this has given rise to a new form of identity called digital identity.
However with the rise of the importance of digital identity in our everyday lives, this has also led to a new form of criminal activity, digital identity theft. Our world is increasingly driven by digital data and digital transactions. From email to making a purchase online, it is hard to imagine how 50 years ago we could get by without the internet.
While the digital age has brought forth many advances in technological amenities that have helped to make our lives easier, it has provided fraudsters with an easier way to gain access to our personal data which they can use to steal our digital identity. Identity theft occurs when your personal data is used by others pretending to be you in order to obtain goods and services by deception or to be used in any other criminal activities. Because of the damaging effects that identity theft can have on a person’s credit rating, it is only natural to want to know if you have become a victim of identity theft.
To help you check if you have become a possible victim of identity theft, here are 6 common telltale signs to look out for.
Unknown Purchases On Credit Card Statements
If you start getting billed for goods and services that you never purchased with your credit card, check it out immediately even if the amount is small. Sometimes, the people who stole your account details are making a test purchase to see if your account is still active before running up big purchases.
Receiving Statements For A Credit Card That You Never Applied For
If all the sudden you start receiving statements for an unknown credit card under your name, it is likely that someone has used your personal information to apply for a credit card under your name.
Receiving A Credit Or Charge Card That You Never Applied For
If you receive a credit card or charge card that you never applied for in the mail, don’t assume that it is a mistake. Someone pretending to be you could have applied for that card. To be on the safe side contact the card issuer immediately.
Getting Calls From A Debt Collection Agency
Receiving calls or notices from a debt collection agency for a debt you never owed is a strong indication that someone had used your personal information to run up a debt.
Errors On Your Credit Report
If you have asked for a credit report to check your credit score but found suspicious activities in the report, verify these activities with the credit bureau immediately. It could be tHat someone has already stolen your personal data and is trying to take advantage of your credit standing. Find out what is going on before the person who stole your identity ruins your credit score.
Missing Bank or Credit Card Statements
If you suddenly stop receiving your bank or credit card statements, it could be because an identity thief has informed the bank or card issuer of a change of address to prevent you from finding out his illegal activities. Spend a little time checking with the bank or card issuer regarding the missing statements to save yourself a lot of future headaches.