Identity theft is on the rise in the USA. The FTC reports a 73% increase in cases from 2019 to 2020, with nearly 1.4 million reported incidents last year. The really worrying thing is that victims of this type of crime often don’t know they’ve been affected right away, leaving the door wide open for further damage to be done.
It’s important for us all to become more savvy to how perpetrators of identity theft are operating. These 7 red flags are signs that something could be amiss and can help you to stay vigilant.
1) A Sudden Drop in your Credit Score
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your credit score, But if you find your score has dropped unexpectedly it’s time to investigate why. Review your recent activities for an explanation. If there is nothing obvious it could be that something fraudulent is going on.
2) An Inexplicable Denial of Credit
If you’ve been denied credit but don’t know why it could be that someone using your identity has run you into a poor score. Even more reason to keep a regular eye on your credit score. Look for unfamiliar activity like loans and credit accounts you don’t remember signing up for.
3) A Job Offer is Suddenly Withdrawn
Employers routinely run credit checks and background checks on prospective employees. So if you’re a shoe in, or already have an offer for a job which suddenly is withdrawn it could be a sign that your identity has been tampered with.
4) Receiving Unexpected Documents
Receiving a bill for a credit card you don’t have might just seem like a glitch, but don’t ignore them! Contact the card issuer immediately to resolve the mistake before it escalates to phone calls and visits from debt collectors. Another warning sign could be receiving a denial letter for credit that you never applied for.
5) Problems with Filing your Tax Return
If the IRS rejects your attempts to file you taxes, especially if they report that it has already been filed with your social security number, this is a huge red flag. Tax-related identify theft is less common but a serious problem to resolve. You can get more advice on this issue here but the best way to avoid falling to this type of crime is to be quicker than the criminals. Filing your tax return as early as possible means you’re less likely to be targeted.
6) Missing Mail
If you don’t receive mail you’re expecting it could be that someone has diverted your delivery or got to your mailbox before you. Make sure you have a secure mailbox that only you and the post office can access. And don’t forget to shred all important documents before throwing them in the trash.
7) Your Social Security Statements Show Earnings That Aren’t Yours
Someone without a social security number will often use someone else’s when starting a new job. Closely monitor your social security account to make sure all the income declared there is definitely yours.
About Michigan Home Lender, Julie Krumholz
With 35 years of industry experience, Julie Krumholz has worked in nearly all aspects of mortgage banking.
Throughout the years she has worked in processing, closing and loan origination, underwriting, QC auditing and has even co-owned a mortgage brokerage firm.
If you are looking for an experienced mortgage lender in Michigan, call Julie from Superior National Bank today at: 586-382-5482.