December 5, 2015

5 Tips to Prevent Identity Theft & Keeping Your Credit Safe

No one wants to be the victim of identity theft, but the truth is that identity theft happens all too often.  With our high-tech culture with credit cards, online purchases, and criminals on the prowl, it is important that you become familiar with ways to prevent identity theft and keeping your credit safe.

1. Protect your PIN numbers. 

With our reliance on debit cards for just about every sales transaction anymore, it is very important that you protect your PIN numbers.  Be especially careful at ATMs and be sure that no one is peeking to see if they can find out what your PIN is.  Also, memorize your pins so that you won’t have your debit card and your PIN number written down in your wallet or purse.  Periodically, you can change your PIN number as a protective measure. Finally, don’t tell anyone else what your PIN number is.

2. Shred receipts or any other personal documents before throwing away.

Criminals love to go through trash to find personal information for people such as social security numbers and credit card numbers.  Be sure that you shred every document before tossing in the trash.  If you do not have a shredder, then rip every document up into tiny pieces before throwing away.

3. Don’t mail your bills in your mailbox.

We all have bills to pay but putting them in your mailbox may not be the safest thing you can do to keep yourself protected.  Thieves will scan neighborhoods to see who has left mail in their mailboxes and confiscate it.  You can pay your bills online or you can take them to the post office for a more successful journey to their destination.

4. Never give personal information such as your social security number or credit card number to an unsolicited caller.

We all get some unsolicited callers on occasion but it is advisable that you never give out your personal information if you are not one hundred percent sure that your caller represents a legitimate business.  If you are interested in their product or services, you can ask them to mail you some information and in the meantime you can check out to see if the business is legitimate.  There are plenty of scam artists out there that thrive on attaining personal information via the telephone for their own benefit. 

5. Check your bank account information regularly.

If you are familiar with your bank account’s activity, you can spot any inconsistencies that you find immediately.  For example, if you check your bank balance online and notice that a large withdrawal was made and you did not make it, then you can immediately let the authorities know.  Also, you can get a copy of your credit report once a year to check it over.  Look for any accounts that are not yours and if you find any discrepancies, let the credit bureau know immediately.

There are things that you can do to protect yourself from identity theft.  By incorporating these tips into your life, you will reduce the likelihood of your chances at fraudulent activity in your life. 


This article is from Dominique Rodriguez, contributor at CreditDonkey.  Protect yourself from identity theft with a credit card that offers identity theft assistance in the event there are any fraudulent activity on your card.  Check your credit report often, at least once a year with the free annual credit report from the FTC and 3 major credit bureaus.

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