As a victim of identity theft, you will likely encounter multiple, severely impacting consequences. Not only will you find yourself with destroyed credit, you will likely be facing a great amount of debt incurred in your name as well as an empty bank account.  They can also reopen accounts you have previously closed out and also open brand new accounts with your identity. It is very important that if you are a victim of identity theft, that you detect the crime to reduce the collateral damage.

Below are a few steps to follow that will help you detect if you are a victim of identity theft. You should also familiarize yourself about what to do if you are a victim of identity theft.

**Children can also become victims of identity theft. Learn more.

Tip 1 - Obtain a copy of your credit report at least once per year. Look for new accounts that you have not opened yourself and/or old accounts that were previously closed that are now open. In addition, look for debts that you did not incur yourself.

Tip 2 - Utilize a triple bureau credit monitoring program to help you detect potential identity theft. You can get a free copy of your 2012 credit scores and triple bureau credit monitoring when enroll for the 30 day trial. This service will provide you with email alerts every time a new account is open, when a company performs a credit check and also when information is granted to the credit reporting bureaus. They also offer a $1 million guarantee reimbursement for any damage you incur as a result of identity theft while a member of their services.

Tip 3 - Always reconcile your credit card and bank statements every month as well as your bills. You want to be looking for any charges that you have not authorized. Also, be aware of any discrepancies between statements and your records.

Tip 4 - Contact your credit card issuers and have them set-up a limit on the amount of money that can be charged on each account per day. In the event that you are going to need to spend more than this limit, you can always contact the credit card company and have them lift the limit just for that purchase.

Tip 5 - If you do not want to put a limit on your accounts, you can have a password be required for any purchases over a certain amount. For example, you can make it required for the retailers to contact your credit card company and have you verbally identify your password to the credit card company which will authorize that you, the cardholder, want to make that large purchase.

Related Reading:
ID Theft: What You Need to Know
How can I tell if I'm a victim of identity theft? - A great video to watch.
Seniors and Identity Theft










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