To know if you're a victim of cybercrime, learn what to look for
Lately, the chances of having your personal information stolen online are pretty high. Identity theft affects millions of people every year. Massive data breaches are happening more and more frequently. Cyber thieves can use anything from a password hack to a vaccination card photo to steal your identity. And once your identity is stolen, it can take years to resolve – plus, it can really mess up your finances.
You may have already taken steps to prevent or monitor online identity theft, but what if you suspect that your ID has already been stolen? Here are a roundup of clues that could help.
9 warning signs of identity theft
1. Unfamiliar login alerts
When you log into your accounts using a new device, some of the larger websites and web services may send you notifications. If the location, timing, or device are unfamiliar, someone else could be using your name and password.
2. Unable to access your Apple ID
Apple ID phishing scams have been on the rise. Your account holds all of your personal contact data, payment details, and service access security information. If you’ve been asked for your Apple ID password in an email, text message, or phone call, chances are it was a phishing scam.
3. Mysterious changes in your credit score
If a cyber thief is approved for a loan with your identity, it could raise your credit score. Your score may lower if purchases are being made in your name. So, be on the lookout for changes up or down.
4. Suspicious activity on your financial records
If you’ve received strange loan applications on your credit report or have seen purchases or transactions you didn’t make yourself, you may be a victim. Always contact your financial providers immediately if something on your statements surprises you.
5. Being billed for strange medical procedures
Medical identity thieves may try to use your identity to make fraudulent insurance claims. If you’ve received insurance statements that list medical treatments, healthcare procedures, or health conditions that you haven’t received, be on alert.
6. Denial of health coverage
If your medical records list a condition that you don’t have or you have been rejected for a legitimate claim, an identity thief may have infiltrated your records to commit fraud.
7. Denial for a loan or credit
This isn’t always an indication of identity theft, but if you’re qualified for a loan, being denied could indicate that someone has been using your identity to commit fraud.
8. Denial of a tax refund
If an identity thief has fraudulently claimed your tax returns, your government will tell you that your tax paperwork has already been filed.
9. Being harassed by debt collectors
Collection agencies will start calling and visiting you if an identity thief is using your credit and no one is making payments.
Once you’ve realized your personal data has been exposed or compromised, you need to report the identity theft. Take immediate action by changing all your account passwords and cancelling or blocking your credit and bank card. These important security steps are your first defense against identity fraud being committed in your name.