Thieves have become more sophisticated over the years, and unfortunately, the chances of someone stealing your identity are increasing. Following are some ideas how to prevent identity theft from happening to you.
- When making a store or restaurant purchase, do not let your credit card out of your sight.
- Don’t carry your birth certificate or Social Security card in your wallet.
- Call your credit card company immediately if your statement does not show up on time.
- Be sure to use drive-thru ATMs and ATMs located inside stores or in well-lit, well-trafficked areas.
- Never let anyone see you type in your personal identification number (PIN), and do not write it on your ATM card.
- Shred pre-approved loan and credit card applications.
- Check your bank statements as soon as you receive them.
- Order your credit report at least once a year to check for fraudulent activity.
- Do not give out your Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers to anyone who calls you.
If you are concerned about a potential scam, do not wait. Call the police, your credit card company, your bank, and the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union). Ask each credit bureau to place a fraud alert on your credit report. This will alert creditors that your financial information may be compromised.