More than half of a million people are victims of identity theft every single year. These thieves scrounge, dumpster dive, skim, phish, steal, and use all sorts of trickery to take people’s identities away from them, and the victims can face several years of frustration and lost money as they attempt to pick up the pieces.
When it comes to fighting off thieves who hunger after your identity, prevention is the best way to keep your identity safe. Follow the tips below to keep your good name safe and clean.
Shred Your Information – In order to keep your identity safe, be sure to shred everything that has pertinent information that thieves could want, including credit card receipts and everyday bills (after they’ve all been paid, of course), old bank statements, medical statements, pre-approved credit card offers, and anything else that has your personal financial information.
Remain Vigilant – Be sure to monitor your bank accounts and credit accounts regularly and carefully. If you happen to notice any missing bills that you were expecting or any unauthorized purchases, this might be a red flag that your identity has been compromised. If you have any unused credit cards, be sure to close them out instead of simply cutting them up.
Limit Your Number of Cards – They say that there’s safety in numbers, but that isn’t so in this case. When it comes to credit cards, the fewer you have the better because it will be easier for you to keep track of everything.
Keep Your Mailbox Empty – Even though you can raise the flag on your mailbox to notify your mail carrier that you have mail to send, you should NEVER leave paid bills inside of your mailbox. That can give thieves easy access to your financial information. Instead, take your paid bills to the post office for safe handling.
Protect Your SSN – Your Social Security Number is unique and should only be given out if it’s absolutely necessary to do so. If merchants demand your SSN on the back of your check, ask for an alternate number and take your business elsewhere if they still demand it. Avoid using the numbers of your SSN in any account number whenever possible, and never carry it and your driver’s license together in the same wallet. Instead, keep it in a safe place that only you know about it.
Never Give Your Information Over the Phone – You should never give your financial information over the phone to anyone who calls you via telephone solicitation. This caller could be trying to pull a scam to get your information. Never give out your Social Security Number, bank account number, or credit card number over the phone.
If you remain vigilant and safeguard your financial information, you should be able to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. For more tips or if you have additional questions about financial matters, call me at (618) 709-3821 or check out my website at www.loansbytammie.com!