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Identity theft that goes unnoticed

Karen Stiles

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Identity theft that goes unnoticed

CREATED Feb. 19, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Could you be the victim of identity theft and not even know it?

You could, if you are not careful about checking things out on a regular basis.

How would you know if your identity had been stolen?

It may be obvious that your identity has been stolen, especially if you start receiving unsual bills, have been denied credit, or receive other disturbing notifications.

However, sometimes you may not know for years that your identity or personal information was compromised, especially if the criminal has not been using your information regularly or in a manner that would tip you off.

How can we check things out to be sure that our identity and personal information is secure?

Most importantly, check your credit report on a regular basis with all three credit reporting agencies.

You can do this for free once per year from each agency by going to

Your bank or credit union might also be able to assist you with getting these reports as well.

It is also important to pay attention, especially if a business or agency alerts you to your name or social security number being associated with another address or account.

Do whatever you can to protect your information such as:

- Limiting how and to whom you release this information

- Using secure passwords that you change regularly

- Properly destroying documents before discarding them

If you believe that your identity or personal information may have been stolen, what can you do?

File a police report, notify banks, government agencies and credit reporting agencies, and take measures immediately to protect your information such as changing passwords or having fraud alerts placed on your accounts.

You can also contact our Call 4 Action office to request a free copy of our identity theft brochure that has a lot of good information on how to protect your identity and how to take action.