When people are not diligent with protecting their personal information it can take months before they realize their identity has been stolen. Identity thieves could live in a different state or country. They may or may not know the victim. They don’t have to stand out and can even appear as an average person. Victims start inquiring about the problems when they receive statements, bills, e-mails, or telephone calls asking for payments for services they have never received. Identity thieves may even contact victims via telephone or e-mail requesting to verify personal information.
Identifying an identity thief is difficult because that thief can be anyone that works for a company that uses personal information (retail stores, restaurants, banks, hospitals, government facilities, etc). Many states have laws that prosecute identity thieves; see if your state is on the list. Using preventive measures can deter identity thieves from stealing your identity.