How can I spot identity theft?

Answer: 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 you did not make. Even a small charge 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

Tip:

Be sure your personal information – like your Social Security number, address, name or initials, and employers – is correct.

Tip:

Don’t ignore bills from people you don’t know. A 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.

Tip:

If you have a problem with credit reporting, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB online.

Ask CFPB provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically.

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