It’s natural to wonder, “How can I find accounts in my name?” Maybe you’re worried you opened an account and forgot about it or want to take inventory of all financial accounts. Or you may be afraid of something more complicated, like identity theft. In both cases, you’ve come to the right place. It’s simple to monitor your accounts once you know the steps, and it is a smart move for everyone to protect their financial identity.
Here’s how to find accounts in your name, from bank checking accounts or savings accounts to credit cards.
How to find accounts in your name
It’s wise to stay on top of all accounts under your name, especially bank accounts. Regularly checking account information makes it easier to monitor your finances and protect yourself against possible identity threats by catching them quickly.
1. Check your credit reports
Pulling your credit report and credit score is the most accurate and convenient way to find all of the accounts that have been reported in your name. Your credit report will display every open account in your name, from bank accounts to credit cards and more.
Every year, you can request one free copy of your credit reports from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus. All you have to do is go online and visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you want to monitor your credit report more frequently, many major banks, financial technology companies and credit card issuers offer free credit reports or credit monitoring. For example, MoneyLion can help you learn more about credit scores and offers a credit-building monitoring service.
2. Review your online banking statements
Regularly review your online banking statements for any unfamiliar transactions or accounts. This includes credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market accounts. If you don’t recognize a transaction, speak to your bank immediately. Most financial institutions now offer online access and an app.
After you login into the account on a smartphone or computer and click on “see all transactions” or something similar.
If you want to make a habit of checking all transactions once a week, it’s easier to keep track of charges and ensure everything is correct.
3. Contact financial and government institutions
If you see an account you don’t remember, contact financial and government institutions to inquire about any accounts you may have under your name. They will usually ask for verification like your Social Security number and, in the case of physical banks, the city or branch where you opened the account.
How to find out whether someone opened accounts in your name
If you’re afraid that your identity has been breached or that someone opened an account in your name, you’ll be able to review that information on your credit report. Taking action quickly can prevent additional unauthorized charges that could damage your credit or hurt your savings.
The simplest way to find out whether someone opened an account in your name is to check your credit reports. They will list all accounts associated with your name and Social Security number. If you’ve already accessed your free credit report for the year, you could get that information from your bank, credit card issuer or financial institution if you have an account or pay for an additional credit report.
How to manage and help prevent identity theft
If you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft, it’s important to check all areas of your finances. Here’s how to help protect your accounts and your personal information.
1. Close all suspicious accounts opened in your name
If you review your credit report and notice an account you didn’t open, it’s usually a good idea to contact the financial institution immediately. You’ll want to ask them for information about when and where the account was opened.
You will have to verify that the account was opened by someone else with the financial institution and ask them to close the account immediately. You might also consider placing a credit freeze or extended fraud alert on your account. This goes for bank accounts, personal loans, credit cards, and other financial accounts.
2. Double-check your debit and credit cards
More than anything, you will want to keep a close eye on your debit cards. With debit cards, you may become liable for the total charges that were made using your card.
Credit cards typically have greater protections regarding fraud and liability for unapproved charges thanks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep a close eye on your monthly statement.
3. Take action
If you suspect that you may be a victim of identity fraud or that someone opened an account in your name, the last thing you want to do is wait. Take action immediately.
Act fast to obtain your credit report and find out which accounts have been opened in your name. Contact your banks and associated financial institutions to report suspicious activity. You can get the contact information of each credit bureau from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau here. You can also immediately update your passwords and other security information to protect your accounts.
4. Safeguard your personal information
When it comes to protecting your identity, it can be helpful to seek help from identity theft protection companies, such as Identity Guard and ID Watchdog. Another good strategy is to set up multi factor authentication on all your accounts or consider signing up for automated alerts every time a transaction occurs.
It’s also critical to regularly check your email and your physical mailbox. Getting into the habit of reviewing your bank statements can help you prevent potential damage by identity theft.
What to do with a fraudulent account opened in your name
If you suspect someone opened an account in your name, here’s what you can do to prevent further damage.
1. Contact your bank or credit card’s fraud department
Contact your bank or financial institution immediately if you suspect an account has been fraudulently opened in your name. Ask them for information about the account and explain that you suspect you may be a victim of fraud. Ask your bank or credit card issuer to either close or freeze the account.
2. Dispute any fraudulent charges
When you contact your bank or credit card issuer about suspicious accounts, you can speak with its customer service or fraud departments to dispute fraudulent charges. You’ll need a copy of your statement to identify the exact details of the fraudulent charge.
3. Report the identity theft
Don’t hesitate to report identity fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through IdentityTheft.gov. This is an excellent resource for people seeking help handling identity theft or interested in taking preventive measures.
4. Consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze
Contact the three credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You can place a fraud alert or credit freeze on all three accounts. Either closing or freezing your accounts will prevent anyone from being able to add new charges to your account unless you approve them. Another good option is to add a fraud alert, which stays on your accounts for up to one year.
Protecting yourself from identity fraud
Keeping track of the accounts in your name is a good financial management practice and can help you stop or fully prevent identity theft in its tracks. Remember that you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit reports every 12 months via www.annualcreditreport.com.
Likewise, many banks offer additional services to monitor your credit reports more frequently. Some accounting services like TurboTax offer free identity tracking if you’ve paid for a premium service. You can look at your bank and credit card accounts and set up systems to monitor accounts regularly. Or, get MoneyLion’s credit monitoring service Credit Builder, which gives you credit insights and history, alerts, and a dashboard to track your credit easily.
PRO TIP! A good credit score can lead to lower interest rates and increased borrowing power on loans and credit cards. MoneyLion offers a free and convenient way to find offers from our trusted partners to help you improve your credit.
How can you tell if someone opened a credit card in your name?
Call the bank or financial institution associated with the credit card you’re suspicious of to review the details. If it wasn’t you or someone you know who opened the credit card, you might be the victim of identity theft.
How can I check if a bank account exists?
You can check whether a bank account exists in your name by pulling your credit report or contacting a specific financial institution.
How can I find all accounts linked to my name?
Pulling your credit report will allow you to review all the accounts linked to your name and review all financial and personal information to ensure it’s reported correctly.