Whenever you submit your credit card information or scans of your government-issued documents online, if their system for data storing is not secure, an unauthorized third party may get their hands on it and use it in malicious ways. It can happen to anyone, even those who are educated about how to stay safe online. So if you’ve noticed any of the signs we’re about to reveal, your identity has probably been stolen:
1. Suspicious transactions in your bank account you didn’t authorize
This means someone has likely intercepted your credit card data. If you’ve noticed this, inform your bank immediately and call the police. To prevent this from happening in the future, it’s a good idea to keep checking your bank account regularly (or set it to receive SMS alerts for every transaction), so you can react as quickly as possible when something fishy is up.
2. Getting messages from a service you never signed up to
Two-factor authentication is a common way of shielding one’s account, because if an additional step of having to enter an authentication code is necessary (and not just your password), the bad guys will have a harder time getting where they shouldn’t be. If you keep receiving messages from a website you don’t recognize, then someone is probably trying to present themselves as you.
3. Receiving bills for purchases you don’t recognize
If this is the case, you’ve more than probably had your identity stolen. If you’re still unsure, it’s a good idea to check if your information currently being sold on the Dark Web, where it most commonly ends up being.
4. If you’re not receiving the mail you should be
The explanation for this might be that someone has taken over your accounts and changed the address of where you reside. The more time that has passed between the date you should have received a particular mail, the more reason for concern.
5. Your employer contacts you regarding a data security breach
Hackers sometimes like to check other people’s social media and target those who have recently switched over to another job. Should an unauthorized party attempt to collect unemployment benefits in your name, presenting your social security number and the name of your current employer is enough for this to slip by unnoticed for prolonged periods of time.
6. Suspicious people start calling you
In case you get a phone call from somebody you don’t know, especially if that person demands money from you or informs you that one of your payments hasn’t come through or is late, that is a solid reason for concern. You should be in control of your financial transactions at all times, and if someone contacts you regarding a purchase you didn’t make, this is a red flag that doesn’t require additional explanation.
Never remain passive when your personal identity is at stake. Inform the other affected party and do not hesitate to contact the police as soon as you’re able to. This will prevent the culprit from causing any additional harm. However, for this to be effective, it’s crucial to always pay attention to small details and remain on your guard at all times.