What To Know About Identity Theft

Identity theft protection services

Identity theft is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences for individuals. It occurs when someone uses your personal or financial information without your permission. This can include stealing your name, address, credit card or bank account numbers, Social Security number, or medical insurance account numbers. The thieves then use this stolen information for their own gain, such as making purchases with your credit cards, opening new credit cards in your name, or even pretending to be you in legal situations.

How To Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Protecting your personal information is crucial in preventing identity theft. Here are some important steps you can take to stay one step ahead of identity thieves:

Protect documents that have personal information

Ensure that your financial records, Social Security and Medicare cards, and any other documents containing personal information are kept in a secure place. When disposing of these documents, make sure to shred them before throwing them away. If you don’t have a shredder, look for local shred events or use a marker to block out account numbers.

Retrieve your mail promptly to prevent any personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

Ask questions before giving out your Social Security number

Be cautious when organizations or individuals request your Social Security number. Legitimate organizations, such as the IRS, your bank, and your employer, typically will not contact you via phone, email, or text to ask for your Social Security number. If someone does ask for it, ask them why they need it, how they will protect it, and if there is an alternative identifier that can be used.

Protect your information from online and phone scammers

When logging into online accounts, use strong and unique passwords. Consider enabling multi-factor authentication for added security, which requires multiple credentials to access your account. This could include a passcode sent via text message or an authentication app, or even biometric data like fingerprints or facial recognition.

Never provide your personal information to someone who contacts you via phone, email, or text. Scammers often use these methods to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information.

How To Know if Someone Stole Your Identity

In addition to taking preventive measures, it’s essential to be able to detect if someone has stolen your identity. Here are some steps you can take:

Track your bills and review them carefully

Keep track of the bills you owe and when they are due. If you stop receiving a bill, it could be a sign that your billing address has been changed without your knowledge. Review your bills thoroughly, as charges for items you didn’t purchase or unexpected bills could indicate identity theft.

Check your bank account statements

Regularly review your bank account statements for any unauthorized withdrawals. If you notice any unfamiliar or suspicious transactions, it could be a sign that someone has gained access to your account.

Obtain and review your credit reports

Monitor your credit reports regularly to identify any accounts in your name that you don’t recognize. These accounts could be a clear sign of identity theft. You can obtain free credit reports to review your credit history.

If you discover that someone is misusing your personal information, it is essential to report it and seek assistance in recovering from identity theft. Visit Instant Global News to access resources and report the incident.

Monitoring Services, Recovery Services, and Identity Theft Insurance

To protect against identity theft, many companies offer identity theft protection services that include credit monitoring, identity monitoring, identity recovery services, and identity theft insurance. These services may also be available through banks, credit card providers, employer benefits programs, or insurance companies.

Credit monitoring services

Credit monitoring services scan your credit reports for any activity that may indicate identity theft. They can alert you when a company checks your credit history, a new loan or credit card account is opened in your name, or there are changes to your credit limits or personal information. However, they may not detect other forms of identity theft, such as unauthorized bank account withdrawals or tax return fraud.

If considering a credit monitoring service, ask about the frequency of credit report checks, which credit bureaus are monitored, and any additional services included.

Identity monitoring services

Identity monitoring services check various databases for any new or inaccurate information associated with your identity. They can alert you to changes of address, court records, requests for new services, and applications for loans or checks. These services can help identify identity theft that may not appear on your credit report, such as fraudulent use of your identity in government benefit claims.

However, they may not detect certain forms of identity theft, like tax or medical identity theft. It is important to understand the limitations of these services.

Identity recovery services

Identity recovery services assist individuals in fixing the damage caused by identity theft. These services offer access to counselors or case managers who can guide you through the necessary steps to recover your identity. They may help you write letters to creditors, place a freeze on your credit report, and provide guidance on reviewing documents.

While these services can be helpful, many of the steps they assist with can also be done independently at little or no cost.

Identity theft insurance

Some providers of monitoring services also offer identity theft insurance. This insurance can cover out-of-pocket expenses related to reclaiming your identity, such as copying documents, postage costs, and notary fees. However, it is important to review the policy’s terms and conditions, including deductibles and coverage limitations, as it may not cover financial losses resulting from identity theft.


Q: How can I protect myself from identity theft?

A: Protecting yourself from identity theft involves safeguarding personal documents, being cautious with your Social Security number, and being mindful of online and phone scams.

Q: How can I detect if someone has stolen my identity?

A: You can detect identity theft by tracking your bills, reviewing your bank account statements, and regularly checking your credit reports for unrecognized accounts or suspicious activity.

Q: What services are available to help recover from identity theft?

A: Identity recovery services can provide assistance in fixing the damage caused by identity theft. They offer guidance in dealing with creditors, placing credit freezes, and reviewing necessary documents.


Identity theft is a significant and ever-present threat in today’s digital age. By taking proactive steps to protect your personal information and being vigilant in detecting any signs of identity theft, you can minimize the risk and protect yourself from potential financial and emotional harm. Remember to report any instances of identity theft promptly and seek professional assistance if needed. Stay informed, stay safe, and protect your identity.