Consider an identity monitoring service which scans the “dark web” for Social Security numbers that may have been accessed. Not a pleasant surprise. And be aware of scammers who may contact you about a "recent breach" and attempt to get your personal information. The types of identity theft they may face are the same as anyone else: financial identity theft, tax identity theft and medical identity theft, for instance. Quickly access your Equifax credit report, place a freeze or fraud alert, or submit a dispute. That means at least once a week for bank accounts or credit cards and once a month for insurance claims. Check your credit report regularly to look for accounts you didn't open. One mail identity theft scam involves stealing checks out of mailboxes, then altering and cashing them. Variations of your Social Security number will be listed. Credit monitoring can help you detect possible identity fraud sooner, and can prevent surprises when you apply for credit. Visit our security freeze page to learn how to place a security freeze on your Equifax credit report. If you start to receive mail or phone calls asking about new credit accounts, or you get mail addressed to a different name, these could be signs of synthetic ID theft. You may also have a hard time qualifying for life insurance if the premiums are based on the imposter's health records. Some criminals have mastered the art of hacking their way into website accounts, then use your saved card information to make unapproved purchases. Mail Identity Theft. The good news: This type of identity theft can be easy to spot if you check your accounts and statements regularly. Whether it’s a stolen credit card or Social Security number or a completely stolen identity, odds are you or someone you know has been affected by identity theft. Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third-party companies ("our partners") from which Experian Consumer Services receives compensation; however, the compensation does not impact how or where the products appear on this site. With this information, it might be possible to take out a home equity line of credit or second mortgage, then make off with the money. Child identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission reports that older consumers who experience fraud typically incur greater financial losses than younger folks. Also be mindful about the mail you throw away. If you spot charges you didn't make on your statements, or you notice accounts you didn't open on your credit reports, contact the company immediately. Biometric ID theft is a very real form of fraud that involves stealing or spoofing a person's physical or behavior characteristics to unlock a device—think facial or voice recognition to unlock your phone, or to tap into your other devices. This makes it harder to catch the fraud, and it still may impact your finances. Your Social Security number can be a very powerful tool for fraudsters, especially if they also get their hands on other personal information that can be used together to open fraudulent accounts in your name. Petty theft is a misdemeanor under state law. Employment identity theft. The offers on the site do not represent all available financial services, companies or products. Misspellings, low-quality images or too-good-to-be-true deals may also be red flags for fraud. Identity theft is a major problem in the United States. With technology evolving so rapidly, fraudsters now have more opportunities than ever before to access your private data for their own gain. Fraudsters know how to exploit small pieces of your personally identifiable information—also known as PII—for their gain and your loss. Other con artists have been known to intercept credit and debit cards to rack up unauthorized charges. It's a form of criminal identity theft that could even result in an erroneous warrant for your arrest. This type of theft can also compromise marketing and sales efforts and/or put the company in a precarious position with authorities when personally identifiable information is stolen. Some criminals may start by making small credit or debit charges in hopes you don't notice them, so review the statements carefully. Also be mindful about the mail you throw away. While Experian Consumer Services uses reasonable efforts to present the most accurate information, all offer information is presented without warranty. The Federal Trade Commission offers a website that provides the steps that you can take, however, to recover from identity theft. The most common type of identity theft occurs when criminals access your existing accounts. If you suddenly stop receiving things like your tax bill or mortgage bill, that's another potential cause for alarm. That's why it's always smart to shop, do your banking and handle any other sensitive information on a private Wi-Fi network you trust. Experian websites have been designed to support modern, up-to-date internet browsers. Existing account takeover identity theft. Once you click apply you will be directed to the issuer or partner's website where you may review the terms and conditions of the offer before applying. Safeguarding sensitive information can help protect you from becoming a victim. You may need to file a fraud claim using Form 14039. Anything containing account statements, banking information or other personal details can be stolen and used against you. You may not enjoy filing your taxes, but it's better than having an identity thief file them. If your child has a credit report, freezing it can prevent further fraud while protecting them from future attacks. If someone opens a fraudulent account in your name, you'll want to be the first to know, especially if it's dragging down your credit scores. For instance, a fraudster may use your bank account or credit card numbers to steal money or make purchases, or use your Social Security number to open a new credit card. Detecting threats and responding to them quickly is the best way to safeguard your financial life. For instance, an identity thief might use a real Social Security number but use a name that’s not associated with that number. Children and deceased people can be vulnerable since their Social Security numbers typically aren’t actively used. It is recommended that you upgrade to the most recent browser version. Driver's license identity theft takes many forms, whether your license number is stolen in a data breach or someone physically steals your wallet. Personal Loans: What to Know Before You Apply. Here are a few steps to take to avoid estate identity theft after a loved one has died: It’s always smart to monitor your accounts regularly and act quickly if you see something wrong. If you're not signed up for a credit monitoring service, you can request a free report from each of the three major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—once per year. If your license goes missing, report it to the police and the DMV. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. Home title fraud is when a scammer gains possession of the title to your property. If you are a victim of criminal identity theft, contact law enforcement immediately. Some types of theft charges in Ohio include: Petty Theft in Ohio. If you are charged with any of the above mentioned theft, you should contact a reliable and experienced defense lawyer. Either way, fraudulent activity could potentially hurt your credit in several ways, such as by causing your credit card balances to spike. Identity theft is so much more than just someone stealing your social security number or email account. From there, criminals can open new accounts, apply for credit, receive auto loans and commit other types of financial crimes. Notify credit bureaus and the deceased’s relevant financial institutions. Norton LifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Get copies of the official death certificate. Opting for two-factor authentication and using a VPN when accessing public Wi-Fi can add an extra level of security. This involves filing a police report and contacting your insurer and medical providers to correct your medical files. (You'll also get a free monthly VantageScore® 3.0 credit score, based on Equifax data. No matter how it happens, medical identity theft could result in bills for medical services, prescriptions or goods you never requested or received. An identity thief might use that information to access and drain your bank accounts, damage your credit, or more. Monitor Your Credit to Spot Potential Identity Theft and Fraud, 3 Steps to Take If Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen. Later, they may file a return and claim a refund. This could result in greater financial loss, with little knowledge on how to address it and little money to fall back on. Credit Card Fraud: What to Do if You’re a Victim. Emails that look like they're from the IRS or a financial institution. You might also consider a placing a security freeze on credit reports. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has more information on employment identity theft and E-Verify. Since criminals need access to your user credentials to break into your accounts and impersonate you online, keeping this information safe is vital. You’ll also find some of the basic steps you can take to help you recover from identity theft. By stealing other components of your identity, they may be able to transfer the ownership on your property title to themselves. In this article, you’ll learn 10 types of identity theft you should know about. When periodically checking your credit reports, check your identifying information closely. This type … Account takeover is when somebody gains access and takes control of one or more of your accounts without your knowledge or permission.