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ROUTING # 281076730


How Do I Spot Identity Theft?

Jun 8, 2022

Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud for their own personal gain. The perpetrator may use this information to apply for credit, file taxes, or drain your bank account. This can damage your credit and cost you time and money to restore your identity. 

How does a thief get my personal information? 

The most common way to steal information about a person is online. You need to protect yourself while using websites and mobile apps. The information you share on social media and other websites could be taken and sold on the dark web for other bad guys to use. Always think twice before you share any personal information. 

Second, your daily trash could contain your information. A person’s trash or recycle bins are filled with magazines, junk mail and old bills. This could include your full name, address and possibly other personal information. Protect yourself by ripping your name off any magazines before throwing them in the recycle bin and use a paper shredder to shred old bills. 

Last, old-fashioned stealing still happens. A person’s purse or wallet, mail from a home mailbox, phishing emails, or even card skimming at an ATM and gas pumps are ways thieves can steal your information. These tactics are still common and can happen anytime, anywhere. Even when you think you are safe, it is best to stay alert. 

What are the signs my identity has been stolen? 

These can all be signs that your identity may have been stolen: 

  • You aren’t receiving important mail, bills or checks. 

  • You notice transactions on your monthly bank statement that you did not make. 

  • You are denied credit.  

  • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use. 

  • Debt collectors call you for debts that aren’t yours. 

  • You get a notice that your information was compromised. 

  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name.  

What should I do if I am a victim of identity theft? 

If you believe you or your child are a victim of identity theft, there are immediate steps to take:  

  • Limit the damage. If your credit card has been stolen, contact your financial institution immediately to put a hold on your account and let them know your identity has been stolen.  

  • Double check your credit. Experian, TransUnion and Equifax are all credit bureaus that you will need to check your credit to confirm if there is any unusual activity. Visit here for your free reports! If you find something that is unusual, consider freezing your credit.  

If you believe you or your child may be a victim of identity theft, you need to report to the Federal Trade Commission online at or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. Also, contact your local police department. Authorities may not be able to do much, but they can report and be alert for suspicious behavior that could involve your name or address. 

Staying alert to these signs of identity theft and taking steps to prevent it can save you time, stress and loss.