Taken from the book Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make A Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
-8.4 million adults are victims of identity fraud annually.
-$5,720 is the average fraud amount per victim
-25 hours per victim is the average time required to resolve identity theft and its consequences.
-63% of identity information is obtained through traditional methods, such as lost or stolen wallets; misappropriation by family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors; stolen mail or trash.
1. Use a paper shredder for important documents like credit applications, credit offers, insurance forms, physician statements, bank statements, and expired charge cards.
2. Deposit outgoing mail in collection boxes located inside the post office.
3. Promptly remove mail from your home or business mailbox.
4. Don't carry your Social Security card with you.
5. Keep personal information in a safe and secure location at home.
6. Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know with whom you are dealing.
7. Create passwords that are random combinations o numbers, symbols, and both upper and lower-case letters.
8. Order a free copy of your credit report every 12 months.
9. Check your online bank statement on a regular basis.
Thieves can be so convincing, whether it is through email or the telephone. They make the situation drastic....like you will lose the particular service, email, account is in jeopardy, etc. The companies will never call you. They will close the account if they have doubts and wait for you to call them. If you ever have a concern, hang up and call the company you have the account with yourself. They will appreciate you double-checking with them!
When someone steals your name, social security number and credit, they steal YOU! You could lose a job opportunity, be refused a loan for a house, car, or school. Get arrested for a crime you didn't commit. Take the time and protect yourself as well as your protect your children or personal belongings!