fbpx Skip to main content

How to Tell If Someone Is Using Your Identity Under False Pretenses

According to identitytheft.org, the FTC received 1.4 million reports of identity theft over the past three years. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal or financial information without your permission, typically to open new accounts, steal money or make fraudulent purchases. With such high numbers continuing to rise, the issue of identity theft is one we can no longer ignore. Keep reading to not only learn how to spot the signs of theft early on, but how to prevent the issue and protect your information as well.

Fraudulent Charges

These are most commonly spotted on your credit card or banking statements. While traditional forms of theft were performed by physically stealing your credit card, today thieves can access and take your personal information through online transactions only. In a world that relies so heavily on digital interactions this news can feel quite alarming at first. However, with some diligent monitoring and preventative action you can continue keeping your accounts safe.

The list doesn’t end here. These amazing achievements made by women are only a select highlight of all the incredible accomplishments throughout history. Remember to continue recognizing and celebrating firsts for women across all industries, and across the globe.

Greater Prevention & Protection

Remember to check your purchasing statements every month to make sure everything looks normal and all purchases were made by you or with your consent. It’s important to remember to do this when payments are still fresh in your mind so you can easily spot something that looks out of place. Luckily, if you’re a Greater Niagara Federal Credit Union Member and you report a lost credit or debit card through us, we’ll replace your card ASAP to ensure your accounts are protected!

New Accounts Opened

This kind of fraud includes the opening of new bank accounts, credit cards, a new phone plan, etc. Not every scammer who opens new accounts makes large noticeable purchases though, some put monthly payment plans like utility bills or rent in your name which are harder to notice right away. 

Greater Prevention & Protection

Catch this kind of activity early by looking for withdrawals you didn’t make as this is a telltale sign of identity theft. If you do notice a new account opened up in your name, contact the company where the account was opened and attempt to close it as soon as possible.

Taken Tax Refund

Some may try to claim your tax refund as their own for quick and relatively easy access to cash and personal information. If you suspect your tax refund may have been taken, or notice any suspicious activity with your tax accounts, contact the IRS and/or FTC immediately so they can guide you through the necessary steps toward resolution.

Greater Prevention & Protection

If you’re using any online programs for tax filing that require you to submit your personal information, make sure you set up a multi-factor authentication. This involves creating two or more password protected authentication processes before gaining access to your account.

Use of Your Social Security Number

It’s possible your social security number could get leaked through a security breach or accidental information sharing. This is dangerous because someone may try to use your identity to apply for a job which could end up messing with your tax reporting. If you ever suspect this might have happened to you, reach out to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to report the issue.

Greater Prevention & Protection

Keep your personal information protected by storing financial records, your social security, medicare cards, or any other important documents in a safe place. This pertains to both on and offline storage. Then when it’s time to get rid of any physical copies of those documents it’s important to shred them before throwing them away.

Keeping Your Identity True to You

Knowing how to tell if your identity is being used without your knowledge is essential to protecting yourself from fraud and keeping your personal information secure. While the goal is to of course prevent fraud from happening in the first place, it’s still possible to do everything right and find a thief snuck through the cracks somehow. However, if this is the case there are many steps and resources you can take listed right in this article to make sure you get back your stolen identity.