These six ways to prevent identity theft offer you valuable tips against the fastest growing crime in America today. In 2004, more than 9.9 million Americans fell victim to many types of identity theft scams, costing them nearly $5 billion.
Their finances were severely hurt because they never thought it would happen to them. Hopefully, this article will help many of you so you won't become a new victim of this terrible crime.
Here are six ways to prevent identity theft.
1. Shred any documents you receive that contain any personal information. This includes credit card receipts and pre-approved credit applications. This important tip alone can offer you more protection against identity theft than any other suggestion here.
2. Never give personal information to people over the phone, on the Internet or through the mail. Identity thieves will claim to be from the government, your bank or even law enforcement. Keeping your personal information private is one of the best ways to prevent identity theft.
3. Check your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus at least once a year and look to see that everything is accurate. If you find an error, dispute it immediately for protection against identity theft.
4. Be aware when your bills usually arrive every month and check them over carefully. Thieves can steal your credit card statements and this popular type of identity theft has been around for decades.
5. Don't use common numbers like your birthdate or the last four digits of your Social Security number for your ATM password. If you have done this change it immediately. This is a common mistake people make and one of the quickest ways to prevent Identity theft.
6. Never give out your Social Security number unless it is absolutely necessary. Your employer, financial institution and doctor need it for identification and tax reporting. But if someone else asks for your Social Security number, always question why they need it and be cautious when giving it to anyone.
For maximum protection against identity theft keep any personal information about you as private as possible. Use these 6 ways to prevent identity theft and you will have a much better chance of avoiding this nightmare.
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