Identity theft is a crime that victimized over 8 million Americans in 2011 – that’s more than the entire population of the state of Virginia!1
Identity theft occurs whenever an identity thief, possibly a stranger or someone very close to you, uses your personal information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. Armed with information like your name, address, Social Security number or credit card numbers, thieves can cause damage that can cost you heavily in both time and money. In fact, you could already be a victim and not know it.
You may be a victim of identity theft if:
- Your credit score seems unusually low
- Banks or finance companies are denying you credit, or only offering you credit with very high interest rates
- Your credit report contains inaccurate or false personal information, or information about transactions or purchases you never made.
- You are being contacted by collection agencies for accounts you didn’t open or merchandise you didn’t buy
- You keep receiving credit cards you never applied for
- You are not receiving all your mail, specifically bills
Any or all of the above could be signs identity thieves have, or are in the process, of stealing your personal information.
1 Javelin Strategy & Research. "2011 Identity Fraud Survey Report." February 2011.
Virginia population: http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=kf7tgg1uo9ude_&met_y=population&idim=state:51000&dl=en&hl=en&q=population+of+virginia