How Do You Know If Youre A Victim Of Identity Fraud?

Victims of identity theft might recognise a few simple tell tale signs that give away that their identity has been stolen. Identity theft is a type of fraud and victims should always be aware of the potential risk of giving away any of their valuable information.

You might be a victim of identity theft if you notice that post you expected is not arriving, or if you have recently lost your plastic cards or given away your social security number

If you feel something has gone array, then you can check your personal credit file for a relatively low fee of just a few dollars or pounds. This will show you has accessed your financial records within a certain time scale, and you should check this as stringently as you would your bank statements, looking for companies and transactions that you do not recognise.

If you apply for state benefits, only to be told you are already applying, then it could be possible that your identity has been stolen and someone is claiming in your name. This can be very stressful, and unfortunately due to the nature of the system is it up to you to prove that you are innocent rather than for the state to prove an untraceable individual guilty. You might also encounter a similar situation when you apply for credit cards or bank loans. In many cases the banks are not liable to recover the costs of ID fraud, and therefore you might find that it is much harder for you to secure a mortgage.

If you begin to receive post, statements, receipts and even goods and services that you did not order, then you might very well be a victim of a stolen identity. It is important that you trace your own financial records as much as possible in order to prove that you are not the guilty party. You should also remember to cross shred all your financial documentation before throwing it in the garbage, otherwise it is very easy to reassemble. All an identity fraudster needs to begin gaining money in your name is your date of birth, name, and address. Be very aware of this and who you give these details to.

Geoff Peterson, was a victim of identity theft in early 2007 and has since wrote extensively on this issue. He is the founder of the Identity Theft Action Organisation which aims to raise awareness about the crime.