Do you know how to protect your transactions from consumer fraud and identity theft?
Identity theft is a crime in which a thief steals your personal information such as your social security number, driver’s license number or other personal information to commit fraud. The identity thief can use this information to apply for credit, get medical services or even file taxes. This can damage your credit status and will cost you time and money to fix.
There are several types of identity theft that can affect you:
- Child ID theft
- Tax ID theft
- Medical ID theft
- Senior ID theft
- Social Security ID theft
According to USA.gov, here’s what you can do to minimize your chances of thieves from using your information:
- Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet or write your number on your checks. Only give out your SSN when necessary.
- Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birthdate, social security number, or bank account number) by phone, mail, or online.
- Cover/shield the keypad when typing your passwords on computers and at ATMs.
- Collect mail promptly. If you won’t be home, ask the post office to put your mail on hold until you get back. Click here to put mail on hold.
- Always review your receipts and compare them with your account statements.
- Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements, and expired cards.
- Store personal information in a safe place.
- Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
- Create complex passwords for all your accounts.
- Order a credit report once a year and review it to make sure it doesn’t include information of accounts you haven’t opened.