ID Theft Can Happen to Anyone

ID Theft Can Happen to Anyone

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses

We experienced some fraudulent activity on both a bank account as well as an unemployment claim. Thankfully, the company I work for has a robust HR team who alerted me to the fraud as they received a claim for unemployment, yet I was actively employed. I now have I binder that I use to track all my employment information! It includes my pay stubs and yearly tax forms that I will keep in one place to ensure I have everything at my fingertips if another fraudulent incident happens. I have found if I am trying to access websites I haven’t visited in a while to download these documents, I often forget my login information which results in long password resets or locked accounts. Having the paper trail helps calm my nerves knowing that I have all I need at a moment’s notice, without remembering an infrequently used password. We also use a credit monitoring service and have a flag on our credit for any fraudulent activity so they will notify us if anything looks suspicious.

MilSpouse Money
Mission Response:

We love this tip and photo of you with your “important documents” binder. Thank you for sharing! Fraud can happen to any of us at any time and it is important to be diligent and protect our personal information. Active-duty Service members are nearly THREE times more likely to file a report of identity theft than civilians, so this is an important topic for military families to keep in mind. Sarah experienced unemployment fraud and unauthorized charges but know that there are many ways thieves try to use your personal information for their financial gain. If you notice something suspicious on your accounts, take the following steps right away, and see this handout for more:

  1. Call the companies where you know fraud occurred.
  2. Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports.
  3. Report identity theft to the FTC.

Visit Military Consumer Protection for even more tools and resources to help you understand the threat, respond if it happens to you, and ways to minimize your risk. Track your family’s expenses and review your accounts often. Keep personal information secure including account numbers, electronic devices, wallets, and any other identifying information. Service members have the option of free credit monitoring through all three nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Click here to find out more on how to sign up!