Wednesday, November 3, 2010


More than 8 million people were victims of identity theft in 2007, according to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Most people know the basic prevention measures, such as committing passwords and PIN numbers to memory and shredding credit card receipts. But there are other habits that can help you prevent fraudulent activity.

Check your mail often. Identity thieves often take pre-approved credit card offers and sign up for a new card to use without your knowledge. Be sure to shred these.

Reduce the number of credit and debit cards in your wallet; if possible, carry only one debit card for bank withdrawals and one credit card for other purchases. Use a credit card rather than a debit card while shopping online. You’re better protected because credit accounts are more often monitored for unusual charges and offer quicker ways to freeze and replace cards than banks. Keep a list of all credit and bank card numbers and expiration dates, as well as banking account information in a secure place, such as a locked safe in your home.

When ordering new checks, make the trip to the bank to pick them up rather than having them delivered. When you are waiting for a new credit card to be delivered, be sure to call the issuer if it hasn’t arrived within the promised amount of time to ensure it hasn’t been stolen.

Paying bills the old-fashioned way? Park the car and deliver mail inside the post office rather than the outside box. Neighborhood mailboxes aren’t monitored as closely and could be broken into, leaving your checks open to alterations by a thief.

No comments: