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Identity Theft: Know the Warning Signs

identheftEach year, approximately 11.7 million people fall victim to identity theft – and with that number increasing every year, it’s important to know the signs that you may be a victim. Fortunately, if caught early, you can avoid the time and money involved in having to restore your credit and your identity. With that in mind, here are 3 things to check for that can indicate your identity is being compromised:

1) Credit and/or Bank Statement Errors. Even small errors on a bank or credit card statement are a red flag as criminals often make small “test” charges first to see if the charge will go through. If unchecked, larger purchases will be made and credit cards can be maxed out or a bank account drained. Be sure to address any errors with your bank or credit card company promptly.

2) Missing Bills. Keep an eye out for bills you expect that are late and/or don’t arrive. Identity thieves often operate by changing the victim’s address at the post office to another where they can access mail and put together enough information to open new credit accounts in the victim’s name.

3) Tax returns. Identity thieves don’t limit themselves to just credit cards and bank accounts, they also have ways to cash in on victim’s tax returns as well. Tax fraud is becoming increasingly prevalent so keep an eye out for any letters from the IRS indicating there may be potential identity theft and contact them promptly if you receive a notice.

Fortunately, a simple ad-on to your home insurance policy can offer protection against identity theft. The cost is surprisingly low, starting for under $25 annually, and it can help pay for things such as resolution services, the cost of obtaining reports, and lost wages due to time spent recovering your identity. It’s a great way to safeguard your piece of mind during the holiday season. To find out more, contact your insurance agent or the friendly professionals at Huntingdon Insurance Group where you can get a FREE no-obligation quote by calling George Benonis or Paul Martin at (215) 942-0616 or e-mail quotes@huntingdon.com.