Avoid Identity Theft!
- Monitor your credit report annually Whether you sign up to monitor your credit with the company that has those catchy ads, or do it yourself, make sure you do it! Remember that they have to pay for those ads and do so by charging a credit monitoring fee after your first report. To monitor your own credit completely FREE, go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com/
- Secure Your Mail It might be a good idea to have it delivered to your office or post office. Outgoing mail should be posted at the post office or a secured mail box.
- Electronic keypad signatures One of the most common points of theft. Add the date after the signature so it cannot be reused.
- Never list your social security number And never carry your card with you!
- Destroy all statements and solicitations It's not enough to just tear them in half and throw them away. Shred!
- Don't leave paper trails Take ALL ATM and gas receipts with you. These are other very common points of origination for identity theft.
- Always review your statements Make sure all of the charges are yours. If you don't recognize a store or vendor, call your credit card company and ask.
- Know who you are dealing with Don't give out personal information over the phone or internet. If someone calls claiming to be your bank or credit card company, call them back using the number on your statement, not the number the caller gives you.
- Know your delivery dates If the bill isn't there when expected, call.
- Remove bar code from magazines and shred them! There is a world of information about you contained in those little lines.
- Keep your medical insurance card safe Medical ID theft is the newest form of identity theft.
- If you pay your bills by check Put your work phone and address on your checks.
- Have different passwords online and change them every so often.
Hopefully this has been helpful information. I know I learned a lot and wanted to share it. There is nothing that feels quite so helpless as when someone is using your information- protect yourselves!