The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides the following list of warning signs that your identity may have been stolen:
- Accounts you didn’t open and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain
- Fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit reports, including accounts and personal information, such as your Social Security Number, address, name or initials, or employer
- Failing to receive bills or other mail (this could indicate that an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing addressâ€”follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time)
- 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
- Getting calls or letters from debt collecÂtors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn’t buy
- You may find out when bill collection agencies contact you for overdue debts debts you never incurred.
- You may find out when you apply for a mortgage or car loan and learn that problems with your credit history are holding up the loan.
- You may find out when you get something in the mail about an apartment you never rented, a house you never bought, or a job you never held.
The most efficient way to protect your identity is with an identity theft protection service and get a credit freeze.
Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. Disclosures.