If you, or someone you know, has ever been a victim of identity theft then you will know how painful and stressful a situation it is.
Identity theft is a growing crime and every day a larger number of criminals are developing new methods to steal your identity.
Here’s a reminder of how you can limit their opportunities to steal your identity –
- Do not carry more than one credit card in your purse or wallet.
- Make copies of your birth certificate and passport before traveling.
- Do not give out any personal information to any caller.
- Change your pin number often, especially when using ATM machines.
- Check your credit reports yearly.
- Check every monthly bill to determine that the purchases are your own.
- Use a shredder to destroy any and all mail with your name on it.
- Never give out your social security number to anyone.
- Do not throw away your receipts – either save them for tax purposes or shred them.
- Ensure that whatever credit card you use has identity theft protection.
- Contact the three credit bureaus to have them add a fraud alert to your file in the event you become a victim.
- Make photocopies of your credit cards (front and back) and your driver’s license.
- If your wallet or purse is stolen then you should contact all credit card companies, credit bureaus and the Social Security Administration, as well as reporting the theft to the police.
- Check with your bank often to ensure your account is protected, and check each item on your bank statement as well.
The above steps are just some of the ways in which you can protect your good name, financial standing and future credit potential.
If you believe that your identity may already have been stolen then you can find some advice here : Essential Responses If You Believe Your Identity Has Been Stolen