Don't Let It Happen To You
To do damage, they don't need your card -- they only need your numbers...credit cards, telephone, social security, driver's license, passport, checks, bank accounts, etc...
Keep Your Information Private
- Do not print numbers on checks: social security, telephone number, account number.
- Never give your credit card number over the phone.
- Keep your telephone number unlisted.
- Cancel, in writing, any credit cards you have not used in the last six months.
- Be careful if your social security number is your medical identification number...know how it is handled at hospitals, doctors' offices, and/or in an emergency.
Be Sure That Garbage Is Garbage
- Shred documents before throwing them away...including credit card statements, bank statements, pre-approved applications, any important papers with identifying numbers.
- If you decide not to proceed with a loan or purchase, take all unused copies of the application, paperwork and/or receipts home with you.
Find Out About Credit Information
- Request copies of your credit reports from one or all of the credit reporting agencies...check the reports for accuracy... Equifax, TransUnion, Experian (TRW)
Keep An Eye On Your Mail
- Deposit mail at the post office or in a postal mail box. Do not leave bills in your home mailbox for the postman to pick up.
- Lock your mailbox.
- If you notice your mail is dwindling, check with the post office to see if they have any change of address posted.
- When ordering new checks, pick them up at the bank instead of having them delivered to your home.
Keep Important Papers Locked At Home
- Empty your wallet of any extra credit cards or other important documents -- including your social security card -- unless you know you are going to need them.
- Memorize your social security number. Avoid carrying your social security card with you.
- Memorize ALL passwords and PIN numbers. Keep them private.
Make A List
- Keep a complete list of all your financial accounts in a safe place that you can access easily in case any of them are stolen. These include...Credit Cards (account numbers, expiration dates, contact addresses and numbers) and Bank Information (bank name, account numbers, contact information).
- Order your social security earnings and benefit statement once a year so that you can check to make sure your earnings are correctly recorded.
Crime Prevention Tips Against Identity Tips (.pdf format)