Identity thieves are almost always opportunistic—but the crimes they commit feel very personal. Unauthorized credit card charges, bogus loan applications, missing money, and other financial violations make fraud a major nightmare.
Sometimes, incorrect personal information is the result of an innocent mistake.
If you see your name misspelled, a wrong phone number or address, or an incorrect Social Security number on your credit report, investigate immediately.
Hard enquiries from companies you don’t recognize are a different matter. Sometimes, fraudsters make a lot of credit card and personal loan applications in a short period of time, so if you see a recent list of unknown inquiries, someone might be trying to steal your identity.
If you suddenly owe more than before and you haven’t changed your spending habits, someone else might be splurging on your behalf. Check your credit card statement very carefully and flag any suspicious transactions straight away.