Will You Be An Identity Theft Victim?

identity theft

courtesy quickenloans

 

Identity theft can quickly damage your credit. Fixing it is not only hard to do but also very time consuming. You can never play it too safe with your financial information. Keep your personal information safe and avoid identity theft by following these 5 steps.

Step #1 – Guard Your Social Security 

When identity thieves get a hold of your social security number they can unlock your identity with relative ease. Of all your financial information social security numbers are the easiest pieces of information for thieves to obtain because many people are careless about guarding their social security numbers. 

Never carry your social security card in your purse or wallet. If your health insurance company uses your social security number as your account number ask for a substitute number on your insurance card. Do not give your social security number to anyone unless you know who they are and why they need it. 

Step #2 – Secure Your Mail Box 

Your mail contains all the information an identity theft needs. Your mail contains your account numbers, credit card information and other valuable personal information. Drop your outgoing mail off at the post office instead of your home mailbox. When you go on vacation have the post office hold your mail. 

Step #3 – Limit Access 

Be cautions about your personal and financial information so others will not have access to it. Play it safe, do not leave your social security number, drivers license number, account numbers or PIN numbers in your purse, wallet, car or on your desk. 

Step #4 – Online Security 

Emails and many web sites are not secure so do not send sensitive financial information by an email or over web sites that you do not trust. Be suspicious of emails that you receive from companies you work with who ask you for personal information that they should already have on record. These emails may be from identity thieves. Call the company directly to confirm the information they are requesting. 

Step #5 – Check And Double Check 

Be sure to pull your credit report at least once a year. Everyone can get a free credit report once a year, take advantage of that. Mistakes do happen, information can get posted in error or incorrectly. If you do not pull your credit report you will not know what mistakes maybe on your report. You can dispute incorrect information.

Identity theft damages your credit and reputation. It robs you of time and money. Make the effort to secure your personal financial information to avoid being an identity theft victim.