Have you had something like this happen?
- You get a phone call or letter telling you that you have been
approved or denied credit for accounts that you never requested.
- You no longer receive your credit card statements, or you notice that some of your mail seems to be missing.
- Your credit card statement includes charges for things you know you never bought.
- A collection agency tells you they are collecting for an account you never opened.
If you notice anything like this, it’s possible you’ve become a victim of identity theft. You should go directly to our emergency help page.
How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
But what if nothing is obviously wrong? How can you be sure you’re not a victim?
The FTC says that the average victim of identity theft is unaware of the problem for 12 months. (see the FTC report) You don’t want to let 12 months go by before finding that you’re a victim.
Be Sure You’re Not a Victim. Check Your Credit Report.
The Federal Trade Commision says “One of the best ways to catch identity theft is to regularly check your credit record.”
When anyone applies for credit in your name, it will show up in your
credit report. You just need to figure out where to get your credit
report and how often to get it.
Free Credit Reports are Now Available for Every Region of the U.S.
As of September 1, 2005, everyone in the U.S. has access to free credit reports from www.annualcreditreport.com. Read more about the Fact Act.
Credit Monitoring is Another Option
We’ve reviewed the best credit monitoring products out there. Take a look and see if any of them meet your needs: