If you've been the victim of identity theft, and someone has stolen your Social Security number or personal data to file taxes, open credit accounts, or make charges you didn't authorize, you can find out who committed this illegal act. There's no 100% foolproof way to catch an identity thief.
The best way to find out if someone has opened an account in your name is to pull your own credit reports to check. Note that you'll need to pull your credit reports from all three bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — to check for fraud since each report may have different information and reporting.
Contact your police department, report the crime and obtain a police report. Decide whether you want to place a security freeze on your credit report.
The easiest way to become a victim of a bank scam is to share your banking info — e.g., account numbers, PIN codes, social security number — with someone you don't know well and trust. If someone asks for sensitive banking details, proceed with caution.
The wide-range of identity theft-related crimes makes it hard to put a clear timeframe on recovery. However, on average, it can take over six months and 100–200 hours of your time to discover, resolve, and recover from the effects of identity theft [*]. But that's just the average.
Most hackers usually sell stolen email addresses and other personally identifiable information on the dark web. Individuals who purchase these details can use them to blackmail you or steal your identity. If you have dark web monitoring, you can receive alerts once your stolen information lands on the dark web.
Physical Theft: examples of this would be dumpster diving, mail theft, skimming, change of address, reshipping, government records, identity consolidation. Technology-Based: examples of this are phishing, pharming, DNS Cache Poisoning, wardriving, spyware, malware and viruses.
The three most common types of identity theft are financial, medical and online.
steal your mail or garbage to get your account numbers or your Social Security number. trick you into sending personal information in an email. steal your account numbers from a business or medical office. steal your wallet or purse to get your personal information.
Highlights: There are a number of ways identity thieves may obtain your personal information. Fraudsters may dig through mail or trash in search of credit card or bank statements. Unsecured web sites or public Wi-Fi may allow identity thieves to access your information electronically.
Login details are needed for account takeover
Criminals use stolen login credentials to break into accounts with payment details, such as shopping accounts. This is called account takeover, and it often leads to identity theft. If the hacker changes your password, you will also lose access to your account.
Inform your bank, building society and credit card company of any unusual transactions on your statement. Request a copy of your credit file to check for any suspicious credit applications. Report the theft of personal documents and suspicious credit applications to the police and ask for a crime reference number.
Hard inquiries typically require your written permission. These occur when you're applying for a credit card or personal loan, trying to rent an apartment and other situations where a business is attempting to assess your financial health for a specific purpose.
How fraudsters may open an account in your name. Scammers are able to obtain consumers' personal data on the black market or through data breaches. Such data may include names and addresses, Social Security numbers, existing credit cards or bank account numbers or medical insurance card ID numbers.
It is possible for a person to use your Social Security number to open a credit card in your name. Thus, keeping your Social Security number private and secure is important for protecting your identity. SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt.
Step 1: Change your passwords
On accounts or devices that contain sensitive information, make sure your password is strong, unique—and not easily guessable. Adding your birthday to your mother's maiden name won't cut it.