Theft of personal information allows identity thieves to open fraudulent accounts, empty bank accounts, and wreak havoc on their victims’ credit and finances. It’s important to catch identity theft early if you become a victim.

The sooner you learn that your identity has been stolen, the sooner you can take action to prevent further damage. Here are eight warning signs that you may be a victim of identity theft:

1. Debt Collection Calls for Accounts You Didn’t Open

An unexpected call from a debt collector is one of the tell-tale signs of identity theft. By the time debt collectors call, many accounts have already been opened in your name and unpaid for months.

If you receive debt collection calls regarding an account you never opened, inform the agency that the debt isn’t yours and ask them to stop calling. Check your credit report immediately to identify accounts you do not own, and report identity theft to the credit bureaus.

2. Inaccurate Information on Your Credit Report

It could be an early sign of identity theft if inaccurate information appears on your credit report. Look for hard inquiries from credit applications you never submitted when you read your credit report. The credit bureaus will need to be notified and these items will need to be removed from your credit report.

Monitoring services can keep you on top of identity theft by sending you alerts and informing you as soon as changes occur.

3. Credit Application Denials

You may not be able to qualify for loans, credit cards, and other financial products if you have fraudulent accounts on your credit report. Most people don’t realize they’ve been victims of identity theft until their applications are denied.

If a lender or creditor declines your application for credit based on information in your credit report, they are required to explain why and provide a free copy of your credit report if you request it within 60 days.

4. Data Breaches

Despite their size, small businesses and the world’s largest companies are vulnerable to data breaches. Vulnerabilities in security leave your personal information open to hackers and thieves. When a breach of data occurs at a company you have an account with, you are at risk of identity theft.

5. Strange Transactions or Charges

Report any strange charges on your credit card or unauthorized withdrawals from your bank account as soon as you notice them. This indicates that someone has gained access to your account.

6. Your Bills Stop Coming

Change-of-address forms can sometimes be used by thieves to have your mail forwarded. The company should be contacted if your monthly bills stop arriving. Be sure that your correspondence is being sent to the correct address.

7. Strange Bills Start Arriving

Alternatively, if you start receiving strange bills in the mail, it could be that an account has been opened in your name without your consent. In this case, you should contact the company and ask them to cease service immediately. Check your credit report for fraudulent accounts.

8. Someone Has Tried to File Taxes in Your Name

Every year, there are tax scams, and some of them are very sophisticated. Tax scammers can file tax returns under your name and claim your refund if they have the right information. If the IRS notifies you that more than one tax return has been filed in your name, you should report that you have been a victim of tax fraud.

Is your personal information on the dark web? Make sure your identity isn’t at risk!