The ITRC recognizes that no one is immune to identity theft.  However, there are some best practices that consumers can employ to help minimize their risk of becoming a victim.  One of those practices is to be aware and watch for any “red flags”.  Don’t ignore these red flags or put off investigating potential red flags.  There is a direct correlation between discovering identity theft early, and spending less time mitigating the damage.  If you have questions about how to follow up on any of these red flags, contact the ITRC toll-free assistance line, or email us at:

Financial AND/OR Medical

  • Statements for unknown credit card account/s
  • Errors (misinformation) on credit report
  • Denials when applying for loans for credit
  • Denied on a utility or rental application
  • Turned down for employment (due to a bad background check)
  • Collection notices for unknown accounts or loans
  • Bills for goods or services you didn’t purchase
  • Increases in your rate of interest (APR) on credit cards (due to unknown credit activity)
  • Increase in your auto insurance rates (due to unknown tickets or accidents)
  • Missing mail – regular communication from your financial institutions ceases (bills, emails, statements)


  • Collection notices and bills
  • Explanations of Benefits (EOBs) for services not provided
  • Communication from unknown medical providers and/or facilities
  • Misinformation on medical records
  • Regular receipt of solicitations for treatment of specific health issues that you do not have

Tax or Wage Related

  • Tax returns are denied because a return has already been filed
  • Notifications from IRS or State Tax Board requesting the filing of a return for income not earned by you
  • Notifications from IRS or State Tax Boards indicating a dependent’s Social Security number has already been claimed


  • Denied benefits, EBT, unemployment, or other government benefits
  • Incorrect work history statements (Social Security Administration)
  • Summary/statement of benefits for things you did not receive
  • Inability to renew Driver’s License

Note:  Many of the above-mentioned red flags are also applicable to fraudulent activity and accounts for both children and the deceased.