Detecting Fraud

There are many threats to the security of your account, from passwords to romance scams. Here are a few suggestions to help keep you safe at home, online, at the ATM, or shopping. A little attention to your surroundings or your statements can help you identify fraud on your account.

  • Monitor your credit card and bank statements. Review them for transactions you did not initiate.
  • For even faster detection of problems, sign up for online access to your bank and credit card accounts and check them often.
  • Keep track of credit card and bank statement cycles. If a statement doesn’t arrive when it should, it could mean a thief has changed the mailing address on your account.
  • Inspect your credit report. It includes your Social Security Number, past and present employers, and all of your debts, even those that are closed. Besides helping you detect account takeover by thieves, credit report monitoring can alert you to new accounts that have been opened in your name.
  • Order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement once a year. Look for employers you have never worked for – someone may be using your identity to get a job.
  • Monitor the explanations of benefits sent by your health insurer. Request an annual summary of the benefits paid in your name. Be on the lookout for care that you did not receive – even if there is no money owed for it.
  • Pay attention if debt collectors contact you via phone or mail. If you are being contacted about a debt that is not yours, someone may have stolen your identity.