Avoid Identity Theft
1. Keep personal info such as SSN, Birth Certificate, and any other identifiers in a safe place. AND only give this information when necessary.
2. Ladies, guard your purse with your life…Gentlemen, while in congested areas such as busy downtown areas, malls, airports, and bus stations, keep wallet in a front pocket. Back pockets are way easier to pick.
3. Only carry checkbook when necessary.
4. Check credit card and bank statements for purchases that are not yours.
5. If you no longer use a Credit Card…..close the account and destroy it.
6. Shred, Shred, Shred. Do not just throw away bills and C.C. offers. These thieves are crafty and are not above digging in your trash.
7. Before revealing any identifying information, ask how it will be used. Make sure that your information ca not be shared.
8. Monitor your credit scores at least yearly. Also, get a Criminal Background Check on yourself.
9. On the internet…Use complex passwords. Never your name or name of close relatives (even your dog). And for the love of God, please do not use “password” as your password.
10. Use a locked mailbox or a post office box to send/receive mail.
11. Enroll in some sort of Identity Protection service. I now use Life Lock, trust me I have done the research. Their bad rep is not so deserved. While they may not have been able to prevent my situation….they would have caught it way earlier than I did and would have helped me clear it up a lot sooner, at no expense.
Help Protect Yourself From ID Theft. Get help with LifeLock.
Equifax 1-800 525-6285
Experian (formerly TRW) 1-800-301-7195
Trans Union 1-800-680-7289