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How Can You Find Out if Your Identity Was Stolen?

If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, these accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. To find out, order a copy of your credit reports.

By law, you can order a free credit report annually at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Once you get your reports, review them carefully. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open and debts on your accounts that you can't explain. Check that information like your Social Security number, address(es), name or initials, and employers are correct. If you find fraudulent or inaccurate information, contact the credit reporting agencies to have it removed. Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover the identity theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.

Stay alert for other signs of identity theft, like:

  • failing to receive bills or other mail. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
  • receiving credit cards that you didn't apply for.
  • being denied credit, or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason.

 

What should you do if your identity is stolen?

Filing a police report, checking your credit reports, notifying creditors, and disputing any unauthorized transactions are some of the steps you must take immediately to restore your good name.


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