The theft of databases has increased people’s fear of computer hackers. Remember, however, you are just as likely to have your identity stolen via purse snatchings, mail theft, and dumpster diving. To significantly reduce your risk of being a victim of identity theft:
Wear a close-fitting pouch, instead of carrying a purse or wearing your wallet in your front pocket, and use a pen with forgery-proof ink when writing checks. Call the District Attorney’s office at the number below and we will provide you with a forgery-proof pen (as supplies allow).
Don’t carry your checkbook, extra credit cards, or Social Security card in public; don’t use your Social Security number on your driver’s license.
Don’t give any part of your Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers over the phone or Internet unless you have made contact with a company or financial institution with which you are familiar.
Request a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies at Annual Credit Report or 1-877-322-8228 (it’s safe to give your Social Security Number.)
Call 1-888-567-8688 to “opt out” of credit agency marketing lists and reduce credit card solicitations or opt out online at Opt Out.
Shred pre-approved credit card offers and all financial documents with a cross-cut or confetti shredder.
Mail bills are to be paid at the Post Office, not in your mailbox with the red flag raised or in street corner postal receptacles.
Have new boxes of checks sent to the bank/credit union, not your home.