The Bozeman Police Department is reporting that there have been several identity theft cases reported recently. According to police, Verizon phones are being purchased in the victim's name and then they are also stuck with the bill.

Here's some clues that someone has stolen your personal information:

• You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
• You don’t get your bills or other mail.
• Merchants refuse your checks.
• Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
• You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
• Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
• Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
• A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
• The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
• You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

If someone steals your personal information, you should immediately:

  • Call the companies where you know fraud occurred. Call the fraud department. Explain that someone stole your identity. Ask them to close or freeze the accounts. Then, no one can add new charges unless you agree. Change logins, passwords, and PINs for your accounts. You might have to contact these companies again after you have an Identity Theft Report.
  • Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports. To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
  • Experian.com/fraudalert 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion.com/fraud 1-800-680-7289
  • Equifax.com/CreditReportAssistance 1-888-766-0008

A fraud alert is free. It will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. You'll get a letter from each credit bureau. It will confirm that they placed a fraud alert on your file. Go to annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to get a free credit report. Review your reports. Make note of any account or transaction you don't recognize. This will help you report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the police.

If you discover that someone is misusing your personal information, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report.

The following information is based on information from the Bozeman Police Department: