How Will I Know If And When My Identity Has Been Stolen?

There are free services available to monitor your credit. Many credit cards and bank accounts come with this feature, so check your accounts first to see if it’s available. If not, CreditKarma offers free credit monitoring.

If you have concerns, it is always a good idea to check your credit report. A credit report is a summary of your personal financial information. It tracks the bank and credit card accounts you open, and records if you default on a loan or get your house repossessed. Credit reporting companies keep track of this information and provide individuals with "scores."

Companies can check out a person´s score when deciding whether or not to grant someone a loan or to sell someone an item requiring monthly payments. Sometimes employers even look at credit reports to ensure newly-hired employees are credible and reliable; therefore, it is very important to maintain a good credit score.

Other signs indicating your identity may have been stolen:

  • You receive credit cards in the mail that you didn´t apply for.
  • You don´t receive regularly anticipated bills in the mail.
  • You are denied credit or are offered bad credit terms despite the solid credit report that you thought you had.
  • Debt collectors and businesses call you for repayment of a product or good that you never bought.