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How to Check for Identity Theft

Updated July 1, 2020 . AmFam Team

Worried your identity is at risk? Know the signs of identity fraud so you can act quickly. Learn how to check for ID theft with American Family Insurance.

Identity theft occurs more frequently than you might think, and in many cases, it comes with some serious financial repercussions. According to a recent Insurance Information Institute (Opens in a new tab) study, while the number of victims of identity theft fell from 17 million to 14 million between 2017 and 2018, the financial damage per identity fraud victim almost doubled.

And consumer losses rose to a whopping $1.7 billion, with 3.3 million people effected in 2018. Today, it’s more important than ever to know the signs of identity theft, so we’ve put together some tips to help you understand what to look for, how to respond and minimize damage.

3. Get copies of your credit reports

Once you’ve notified the credit bureaus and placed fraud alerts with each, you should obtain a free copy of your credit report. Be sure to read each report carefully and make sure all the information is accurate. If you notice any accounts or transactions you didn’t authorize, you’ll need to take some additional steps, such as freezing your credit report.

4. Place a freeze on your credit report

Placing a request fraud alert on your account prohibits new credit accounts from being issued unless you provide a password to unlock your credit report. Bear in mind, creditors and lenders that you already have accounts with will still have access to your credit file. And if a fraudster has breached an existing account, further damage can be done.

5. Report identification theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

If your identification has been stolen, you should make it a priority to report it to the FTC as soon as you can.

Federal Trade Commission (Opens in a new tab)
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
Phone: 877-ID-THEFT

6. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

If your identity has been used to commit fraud, you should contact the IRS to make sure you’re not also a victim of tax identification theft. If someone has enough information to open new accounts, such as a name, date of birth and social security number, they could also file a tax return in your name.

How Can I Prevent Identity Theft Damages?

From physical identity theft — like a stolen driver’s license or rerouted mail, to digital identity theft — like a stolen password or fake link in your email, thieves are crafting new and novel ways of taking your personal information and using it fraudulently.

One way consumers are fighting back is with credit monitoring and identity theft insurance from American Family Insurance. By keeping a close eye on your identity, you’re staying informed of how and where your personal information is used.

Protect your identity before it before the unexpected happens. Make sure you’re fully informed to get the best protection possible. Check out Identity Theft Protection & Restoration from American Family Insurance to learn more.

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