With identity theft on the rise, it’s important to protect yourself.
The FTC had over 9 million reports of identity theft last year. This can take the form of someone else using your personal information, such as your name, address, credit cards, checks, or social security number to commit fraud.
Here are some pointers on helping to prevent identity theft:
1) Your personal checks should have limited info on them.
Don’t put your full first name on your checks, use your first and middle initials and last name on them. Use a different address than your home address. Do not include social security or drivers license number. When paying bills only write the last digits of the account you are paying.
2) On you credit cards sign the back of them. Also, write the words, SEE ID. So, the clerk must ask for ID to accept the card.
3) Go through your wallet and see exactly what you are carrying.
Leave all but two of your cards at home. Take copies of the front and back of everything in your wallet and keep it in a file, in case your wallet is stolen. Then, you can call the police immediately if you are robbed. Be sure to contact all 3 of the main credit reporting agencies immediately, so they can place a fraud alert on your name.
4) Pull a copy of your free annual credit report every year at
http://AnnualCreditReport.com/ to be sure there is not erroneous information on your Experian, Equifax and Transunion reports.
5) Shred everything with your name on it that you would normally throw in the trash.
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