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How can I spot identity theft?

Keep an eye out for identity theft by reading your statements from credit card companies or banks and credit unions and checking your credit reports for suspicious activity.

Financial accounts and billing statements

Look closely for charges or withdrawals you did not make. Even a small charge or withdrawal can be a danger sign. Thieves sometimes will take a small amount from your checking account and then return to take much more if the small debit goes unnoticed.

Credit reports

Review your free credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus. If an identity thief is opening financial accounts in your name, these accounts may show up on your credit report. Look for:

  • Inquiries from companies you’ve never contacted
  • Accounts you didn’t open
  • Wrong amounts on your accounts

Warning: Don’t ignore calls from debt collectors about debts that aren’t yours, or bills from people you don’t know. A collection or bill on a debt you never borrowed may be an indication that someone else has opened an account in your name. Contact the creditor to find out.

If you have a problem with credit reporting or debt collection, you can submit a complaint.