In 2016 15.4 Million U.S. consumers were victims of identity theft. Identity theft is a serious crime that appears to be growing rapidly in today’s time. Simply put identity theft occurs when someone uses information about you without your consent. Information used could be name, address, credit card account numbers, bank account numbers, medical insurance account numbers, and your social security number. Below are some tips to help you combat against methods used for identity theft.
Basic Safety Tips
Do not carry important numbers or passwords with you.
Memorize your Social Security number.
Do not use your date of birth as your password.
Never leave receipts behind.
- Sign your new credit cards immediately.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately. Make sure you keep the numbers of the issuers somewhere besides on the back of your card!
- Always check your monthly financial statements carefully against your receipts.
- Review your consumer credit report annually.
- Do not leave mail in your mailbox for more than a day. If you are gone, arrange to have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your mail.
- Double check that mailboxes are official US Postal Service collection boxes before you deposit your mail.
- Shred or tear up all unnecessary documents that have your personal information on them.
- Never put in a credit or debit card number through a website unless it offers a secure transaction.
- A secure transaction will have a "padlock" icon at the bottom strip of the web page. Also, the URL address will change from "http" to "https" on the page where you input personal data.
Discovering Id Theft
- Checking your financial statements frequently and carefully can be your best first step towards discovering an ID theft.
- The sooner you discover your identity is being used, the sooner you can begin to fight back to lessen the damage the criminal can do.