Identity theft is a major concern for pretty much everyone. It has been estimated that nearly 9 million people have their identity stolen every year. What makes identity theft such a concern is that there is no way to be completely safe from it. However, there are ways the protect your finances from identity theft.
- Protect all of the important information. Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank account information can be used very easily in identity theft. Having a prepaid card can help safeguard your finances by limiting access to regular accounts and limiting fund accessibility to people who might want to steal from you.
- If you buy or receive checks from the bank it is a good idea to pick them up in person. Having checks delivered to your home or work address raises the risk of identity theft. Checks that are delivered can be picked out of the mail and used fraudulently.
- Be sure to shred your old credit cards and statements. Shredding anything that has account information available will make it more difficult for frauds to steal your information. It is also a good idea to separate the pieces of what you shredded into multiple locations. If you separate the pieces no one will be able to reassemble your information.
- Try not to give out information over the phone or internet. Question everything. Make sure emails are from trusted sites before clicking on links contained in the email. If collectors call, make sure to independently call companies to verify payment arrangements and collections information. Doing so will ensure that you are paying people to whom you owe money rather than paying someone who is taking advantage of information.
Are you protecting yourself against identity theft?