Detecting identity theft and how to respond

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - LACKLAND, Texas -- Identity theft is becoming more and more common.  Here are some indicators that your information might have been compromised:
 
· You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can't explain.
 
· You don't get your bills or other mail.
 
· Merchants refuse your checks.
 
· Debt collectors call you about debts that aren't yours.
 
· You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
 
· Medical providers bill you for services you didn't use.
 
· Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you've reached your benefits limit.
 
· A health plan won't cover you because your medical records show a condition you don't have.
 
· The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don't work for.
 
· You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
 
· You lose your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information.
 
If thieves have gained access to your information, or if your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information are lost, contact the credit reporting companies and place a fraud alert on your credit file. Check your bank and other account statements for unusual activity.  Order a free copy of your credit report periodically to monitor your accounts. You have a right to one free copy of your credit report from each of the national credit reporting companies every year. If you stagger your orders, you can get a credit report every four months.
 
Your state law controls the rights you have if your information is lost in a data breach. When the organization that lost your information lets you know about the breach, they should explain your options.
 
The three national credit reporting companies are:
 
· Equifax:1-800-685-1111; equifax.com
 
· Experian: 1-888-397-3742; experian.com
 
· TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800; transunion.com
 
This publication is part of the Legal Assistance Office Preventative Law Series published each month.  For other recent publications go to 149 FW website and facebook.  For legal assistance, please contact the Legal Assistance Office at 925-8208 during drill weekends.  During the week, member's may contact the Headquarters - Austin Legal Assistance Office at DSN 954-1178/1169.
 
Information in this Article taken from the Federal Trade Commission website on identity theft - http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/privacy-identity.