You have probably seen those Citibank commercials with the two old ladies having a good old time chatting, assuming their new identities. The TV spots are pretty funny, until you hear stories of identity theft victims who describe how the nightmare of id theft takes months, sometimes years to clean up.
Apparently ID Theft is not the hardest crime to commit, because one in five Americans now say they have become victims.
ID Theft victims will tell you that one of the worst things about the crime is that can take years to detect. By then, the damage may have done to your bank account, your credit, and your financial reputation, and it make take a long time to clear your name.
The key is to catch identity theft early. Here is one of the best things you can do to help detect identity theft early: Monitor all three of your credit reports. Get daily email alerts to notify you if any new changes, including suspicious activity, has occurred on any one of your 3 credit reports, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Get Your Free 30 Day Credit Monitoring Trial, and Free Credit Report and Score.
Here are some key early warning signs to help you detect identity theft.
1. You receive bills from a credit card account that you did not open.
2. You monitor your credit, and find out someone has tried to open up a credit card account in your name, or they HAVE actually succeeded in opening up an unauthorized account in your name.
3. You get a call from a collection agency about an account that you do not recognize.
4. You are turned down on a credit application due to unauthorized debts that appear on your credit report, or your credit score suddenly drops for apparently no reason.
5. Your bank account has been suddenly depleted.
6. Your credit card statements or bank statements do not arrive on time. Do not ignore this! This may be a sign that your personal info, including your address, may have changed to hide fraudulent activity!
7. You see unauthorized charges on your credit cards, bank accounts, or other accounts.
Stay on top of identity theft. Monitor your credit to help in the early detection of identity theft!