Monitoring activity in your credit card and deposit accounts and your credit report is the best way to detect fraud and id theft. In many cases, id fraud is first discovered by the consumer. And, the sooner the fraud is detected, the lower the financial impact.
Here’s what to do.
Monitor Your Accounts
You are your single best defense against fraud and identity theft.
Monitor your accounts frequently. Review statements - credit cards, deposit accounts, retirement and brokerage statements - when you receive them.
Use online statements. Sign up for online statements if your financial institution offers this option. Online statements allow you to spot fraud days or weeks before a paper statement arrives in the mail.
Email alerts. Take advantage of email alerts if your financial institution offers this option.
Be alert for these warning signs!
Missing bills or statements. If you did not receive an expected bill or statement by mail.
Unexpected charges. If there are charges you don’t recognize on your account, or transactions with vendors you don’t recognize.
Denied credit. If you are denied credit or are offered less than favorable credit terms for no reason.
Unsolicited credit cards. If you receive credit cards that you didn't apply for.
Collection calls. If you get calls from creditors or debt collectors regarding merchandise or services that you did not buy.
Check Your Credit Report
Under federal law, you have the right to a free copy of your credit report, at your request, every 12 months.
For more information, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, has an excellent brochure entitled, Your Access to Free Credit Reports, which explains your right to a free annual credit report.
What's Your Risk Score?
My ID Score gives you a real-time look at your risk of identity theft – free of charge. My ID Score calculates identity risk by looking at the use of billions of identity elements like name, Social Security Number, phone number, date of birth, and address across multiple industries
My ID Score – brought to you by ID Analytics – is based on technology currently used by leading communications, financial services, retail companies, healthcare providers, and government agencies. These companies use ID Analytics' scoring technology to ensure that fraudsters do not apply for goods and services in an innocent consumer's name.