This article originally appeared on ringgitplus.com, in partnership with CTOS.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is an act of crime in which a fraudster steals your sensitive personal information such as your NRIC details, passport details, credit card or banking details. Then, they can use it to apply for loans and credit cards under your name, make unauthorized purchases, and even sell your information or documents to other companies or illegal immigrants.
Top 5 signs To Know if You Are a Victim of Identity Theft
1. Unauthorized Charges And Withdrawals
Always check your credit card and banking statements via online banking or monthly physical statements and flag any unauthorized charges or withdrawals.
What You Should Do: Alert your bank immediately if you spot any unauthorized transaction under your credit card or banking account. In addition to that, you should lodge a report at Bank Negara through the following channels:
Call: 1-300-88-5465 (1-300-88-LINK)
Fax: 03-2174 1515
SMS to 15888: BNM TANYA [your report/query]
2. Your Bills And Mails Are Missing
If your mail hasn’t been consistent as of late, do consider the fact that someone might be going through your post box for malicious purposes.
What Should You Do: Check your mail consistently and remember to update your bank of any change of address.
3. Your Social Media Account Has Been Flagged
If your account is accessed from another location that is different from your usual haunts, it’s time to change your passwords as someone may have hacked into your account.
Once they’ve hacked into any one of your online accounts, they can use it to trick your friends into giving out details about you such as credit card verification and more.
What Should You Do: Change your passwords regularly and update your security questions every so often, especially if any of it involves your details.
4. Your Loan and Card Applications Keep Getting Declined
If you are facing difficulties in getting a credit card or loan application approved, maybe it’s time to check your credit report and see if there have been any discrepancies concerning your personal details.
What You Should Do: Check your credit report and credit score regularly so that you will always stay updated on your financial health. If you find that any of the information on your credit report is inaccurate, notify your credit reporting agency immediately and they’ll investigate the matter for you.
5. You Receive Calls from Debt Collectors
If you start to receive calls from debt collectors but have never missed a payment in your life, there’s a huge chance that identity thieves have misappropriated your personal details and applied for loans or credit cards under your name without your knowledge.
What Should You Do: File a police report to protect your assets.
What Else Should I Do to Protect My Personal Details?
• Secure your wireless network
• Use an anti-virus/malware protection software
• Stay vigilant on websites that are prone to phishing
• Monitor your credit profile via credit reports
• Only shop at safe and secure websites
• Be wary when sharing personal information online
• Ensure that your bills and statements arrive in a consistent manner
• Always check your statements for any unusual transactions
• Dispose of your documents carefully (shred or tear them to small pieces before throwing)
I Think Someone is Using My Identity. What Should I Do?
You would need to get a copy of your credit report to see if there are any irregularities in it. This is where the MyCTOS Score Report comes in handy.
The MyCTOS Score Report is a comprehensive credit report that provides an evaluation of a consumer’s creditworthiness. It also contains details about your identity verification, CCRIS records, business exposure, directorships, bankruptcy, court judgment, and legal action records.
Apart from that, you can also find out your CTOS Score – a three-digit credit score that ranges from 300 (poor) to 850 (excellent). Your CTOS Score is used by banks and lenders to determine your creditworthiness and level of credit risk.