Each day thousands of people become victims of identity theft. There are many steps you can take to proactively protect yourself against fraud and identity theft. It is better to put these practices into place before something happens rather than finding yourself working to repair the damage.
You have probably heard these tips before but it is worth taking a moment to review them.
1) Shred all personal and financial information (e.g. bank statements, credit/ATM receipts, credit card offers, credit card bills, etc.) before you throw it away.
2) Keep your personal (e.g. social Security Number, birth certificate, etc.) and bank/credit card records in a secure place.
3) Don’t give your Social Security Number, credit card number or any bank account details over the phone unless you initiated the call and know the business is reputable.
1) Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place.
2) Keep forms and documents with sensitive personal information in a locked drawer.
When Using Credit or Debit Cards
1) Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
2) Cancel all inactive card accounts.
3) Closely monitor the expiration dates of your cards. Contact the credit issuer if the replacement card is not received prior to the expiration date on your credit card.
4) Sign all new cards upon receipt.
5) Be aware of others nearby when entering your PIN at an ATM. (you have heard this before but it bears repeating. Keep your PIN protected.)
If you are a victim of identity theft or fraud please visit this website for tips on how to begin the repairing process. If you take action quickly, you can stop an identity thief from doing more damage. http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0274-immediate-steps-repair-identity-theft
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