How to trace if someone else is misusing your documents

Identity theft can prove costly. Someone can misuse your documents to open a bank account to defraud people. Scammers can take a loan in your name, affecting your credit history. They can even buy a SIM card and misuse it. Once they are through, it will be up to you to prove that you were a victim of identity theft.

Fraudsters typically replace the details on the identity documents. For example, they can change pictures, address, etc. They can then use the Aadhaar, PAN Card or driving license to take a loan or open a bank account. Most verification services only authenticate the name and number of the document.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has recently launched a portal for fraud management and consumer protection (tafcop.dgtelecom.gov.in). At this portal, you have to provide your mobile number. Based on it, you will know other phone numbers that are registered in your name.

If you see any unauthorised numbers, you can block them by sending a request to DoT. The service is not yet available in the entire country. DoT is expanding it.

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Another way to track misuse of your documents is to check your credit report regularly. After accessing your credit report, check if there are any suspicious loans or credit cards. The report also provides phone numbers and email addresses that are registered with different lenders.

If you find anything suspicious, approach the lender or credit card issuer for further details. If the loan or card doesn’t belong to you, you can inform the lender or the card issuer. Also, file a police complaint.

Each credit bureau offers one free credit report every year. There are four bureaus, which means you can check one free report every three months. Make use of it.

(Do you have personal finance queries? Send them to mintmoney@livemint.com and get them answered by industry experts)

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