Fraud and identity theft continue to grow. Now, more than ever, it's important to be aware. We all do things in our day-to-day activities that put us at risk. Education is prevention. The more you know, the better your chance of avoiding those risky behaviors that put you at risk.
Take control back from the criminals. Stay educated and one step ahead of the thieves and you will lower your risk of becoming a victim.
Below are 20 suggestions that you should start implementing immediately.
1. Do not carry your social security card
2. Make sure your purse straps are secure and carry your purse over your shoulder and tucked under your arm.
3. Memorize all passwords; do not carry them with you.
4. Do not give out your SSN on job applications. If you get hired you can give it to them then.
5. If you are contacted from an outside source (phone or email) do not give them any personal information no matter what is said.
6. Friendly fraud is on the rise. That means the thief could be a family member, a friend, your housekeeper, etc. Keep everything safe and secure from everyone.
7. Stay away from privately owned ATM's.
8. Check your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year.
9. Keep all financial records in a safe and secure location.
10. Opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.
11. Do not store personal information on anything that can easily be stolen; laptop computer, iPhone, etc.
12. Either use a PO Box or be sure your mailbox is secured and locked.
13. Do not place outgoing mail in unsecured mailboxes.
14. Do not use the same password for everything and change your passwords regularly using random letters and numbers.
15. Only carry credit cards that you need. Make a copy of each one, front and back, just in case they are stolen so that you have a copy of exactly what was taken.
16. When you get new credit cards, sign them and activate them immediately. You should also add "See ID" next to your signature.
17. Check your credit card and bank statements each and every month for errors or suspicious activity.
18. Do not have new checks delivered in the mail unless your mailbox is secure.
19. Always lock your car and never leave anything in your car without you do not mind it being stolen. If something must be left in your car then be sure that it is covered or hidden.
20. SHRED, SHRED, SHRED all documents.
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