Stolen Identity? Ways to avoid it and how to spot the signs.

Aura is an all-in-one digital security solution that helps protect you and your family’s identity, finances, devices, and personal info.
Nowadays, we’re constantly connected – either through our phone or our computer. Which means identity thieves have that much more of an opportunity to get a hold of your personal information. Identity theft can unfortunately happen to anyone, anywhere, but there are ways you can protect yourself from it.

Take Carlos1 for example, a prominent VP of commercial lending at a bank in Texas. Carlos first realized he had been the victim of identity theft when he started receiving unsolicited credit cards under his name in the mail. Confused (as anyone would be), he went to check his credit bureau reports and found out that someone had been using his name to apply for accounts with FORTY different creditors. The thief had stolen his personal information and was able to rent an apartment, buy a sports car, open four credit card accounts with a $10,000 limit, and open and spend about $2,000 on a Wal-Mart credit card. Carlos reported the incident to the police, who subsequently found and arrested the thief for fraud.

So, the question is: how can you avoid identity theft2 and not go through the headache Carlos did?
  • Protect documents that have personal information. Keep anything like financial records or Social Security and Medicare cards in a safe place and be sure to shred them before throwing them out. If any statements come in the mail, try to get them out of the mailbox ASAP.
  • Don’t share your Social Security number with someone who contacts YOU – It’s a scam! Yes, some organizations need your SSN to verify your identity, but they absolutely will NOT call, email, or text you to ask for it. Anyone who contacts you saying they’re from the IRS, your bank, or employer is trying to steal your personal information, also known as “phishing”.
  • Protect your information online and on your phone. Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication when you’re logging into an online account (we use and trust Aura’s Password Manager).
  • Set up fraud alerts for spending over a certain amount. You can do this either through your own bank or with a security product like Aura.
  • Be on the lookout for unfamiliar devices that access your online accounts. Unrecognized devices that connect to your accounts or ones that login from different locations can be a sign that someone has gotten hold of your passwords.

Check for suspicious activity and thoroughly review all the devices that are currently logged into your online accounts.

But what if someone has already stolen your identity? What does that mean and how can you spot it3? There are a few red flags you should be on the lookout for.
  • New accounts or inquiries in your credit report. A new credit card, personal loan, or car loan will appear as a new account. While a new cell phone plan or utility service – like water, gas, or electric – will show up as an inquiry.
  • Strange charges and withdrawals in your bank statement. Pro tip: Sign up for text/email alerts whenever there’s a new transaction made on your account, so you can stay on top of what charges are made.
  • Income from an unknown employer or notices from the IRS. If, for example, you receive a letter from the IRS saying you’ve filed more than one tax return, that could be a sign of tax theft.
  • Reports of medical care from your health insurance provider. These could be medical bills for services you didn’t get that show up in your Explanation of Benefits statements and could be a sign of medical identity theft.
  • Unemployment benefits you never applied for. Keep an eye out for notices from your state unemployment office or employer about a claim you filed or applied for

But if by some chance it does happen, don’t despair!

You can go to to report it and follow these steps4 to get your identity back:
  • Change all your passwords.
  • Use a secure password manager.
  • Force all unfamiliar devices to sign out.
  • Enable two-factor authentication via authenticator apps (not SMS).
  • Notify your bank and cancel your accounts.
  • Notify the FTC.
  • File a police report.
  • Freeze your credit.
  • Use antivirus software.
  • Get ID theft protection.

When it comes to identity theft, you don’t have to go at it alone. With Aura Digital Security, you can make sure you’re doing all you can to protect your identity – just like us.

How Helpful Was This Article?


Related Content

Related Products