Tis the Season to Prevent Identity Fraud

Tuesday, October 06 at 09:45 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Nothing can spoil the holidays like discovering that someone has stolen your credit card information, Social Security number, or other personal information. Here are 10 smart ways to protect yourself from identity theft during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

  1. Never carry your Social Security card with you unless you need it for a specific purpose. Carry your checkbook and credit cards only when you need them.
  2. Keep your credit cards in sight during in-person transactions to prevent “skimming.” This crime occurs when employees run your card through a separate device to steal its information.
  3. When entering your PIN at an ATM, stand close and block the keyboard with your body so that others can’t see your PIN.
  4. When shopping online, be sure to use only secure (password protected) networks. Never shop on public computers, such as those in libraries or classrooms.
  5. Do not save credit card information on any online shopping websites. Even companies you trust can be victims of security breaches.
  6. Beware of phishing scams. Thieves know that during the holidays, many people are distracted, making it easier to trick you into sharing private information online. Stay alert, and never provide any personal information via email.
  7. Keep mobile devices like smartphones and tablets locked with passwords, and do not store confidential information on them.
  8. Don’t leave package deliveries unattended at home. Thieves can not only steal the merchandise you’ve ordered, but any personal information that may be included in the package as well. If you can’t bring a package inside when it’s delivered, ask a friend or neighbor to help you out, or arrange to pick up the package from the delivery service’s office.
  9. Look over all bank statements, credit card statements and other bills as soon as they arrive to make sure no unauthorized charges appear. If they do, notify the bank and/or biller immediately.
  10. Activate your credit file monitoring and Total Identity Monitoring with IDProtect™. They will check your credit reports to monitor them for unauthorized activity, such as collection notices on accounts you have not used or new accounts that you did not open; as well as provide continuous monitoring of over 1,000 databases including credit, public records, property records and more.
Tags: Consumer Protection, Credit Cards, Financial Education, Fraud Alert, IDProtect, Privacy and Security
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