How can I prevent identity theft ?

Identity theft is a serious crime that can ruin someone’s life and damage credit score. Since money and your identity is at stake, you should always be active in making sure both are protected.

The first thing you should do is prevent anyone from stealing your personal information. To do this, you have to make it extremely hard for thieves to access your information. The most common method malicious people do in stealing personal information is collecting read mails on your garbage. As such, make sure you shred all financial documents, receipts and other letters with your personal information before throwing it out. Even credit card offers should be shredded as these letters contain your credit card numbers, address and other personal information. You can choose not to receive these letters by calling your credit card company.

Another way identity thieves get hold of your personal information is through your SSS (Social Security Number). Make sure to give your SSS only when necessary and you know why that person is asking for it.

These days, identity theft can occur by simply giving your e-mail address to someone else. Some thieves use malicious e-mails to trick you into providing your personal information. Be aware that most financial institutions like banks, mortgage companies and credit card companies still use the traditional snail mail and would never ask for your password online.

To check if malicious people have used your personal information, make sure to get a credit report once a year. This report would list down all accounts you have opened and whether these accounts are in good or bad standing. Credit reports are available by Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, which you can obtain once a year without charge. In addition, check your credit card statements regularly to see if there are purchases listed that you did not make.

If you see any error on your credit card statements, check with your credit card company. If you’re sure you’ve been a victim of identity theft, file a police report and call Equifax, TransUnion and Experian for them to place a “fraud alert”, preventing anyone to open accounts or use your existing credit cards.

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One Response to “How can I prevent identity theft ?”

  1. Cindy said:

    Very good tips! Here are some additional very helpful tips on “How To Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Identity Theft – Take These Steps”.
    http://www.selfdefenseproductsflorida.com/Identity-Theft.html




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