Identity Theft Information
Identity Theft is the newest and biggest crime worldwide today. Identity theft can happen to anyone. Previously, criminals stole your wallet for your cash. Now they want your wallet to steal your good name. Protect yourself and your identity. You can reduce the chance that you will be a victim of identity theft by taking the following basic precautions:
- Minimize the amount of personal financial information you carry. Memorize passwords and Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) instead of carrying them with you.
- Keep personal financial information in a secure place in your home. Shred identifying information before throwing it away.
- Do not give sensitive information to unsolicited callers and emails. Remember that most legitimate businesses will not ask for this information and banks will NEVER ask you to send your Social Security or bank account numbers "for verification."
- Shield your hand when entering your PIN at a bank ATM or when making long distance calls with a calling card. Take your credit card receipts and ATM slips and shred them before throwing them away.
- Pick up new checks or new/reissued credit cards at your bank rather than having them delivered to your home. Sign the back of the cards. If you don't, the thief can sign the receipt any way they please. Do not have your driver license number or social security number printed on your checks.
- If your bank or credit card statement does not arrive on time, call the issuer to make sure they are being sent to the proper address. Also, contact the Post Office to see if a change of address has been filed in your name. A thief may steal or divert your statements to hide illegal credit activity.