Money: 7 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

Tips to help prevent yourself from being a victim of identity theft.

| October 2008

Destroy all documents that contain personal information. Thieves still gather personal information used identity theft from the trash so be sure to shred everything you throw away that contains any personal information about you. This includes credit card statements, bank statements, etc.

Empty your mail box quickly. Don't give identity thieves the opportunity to steal personal documents form your mail box, empty it every day as soon as possible. You can also get a PO Box or locking mail box for added security. You should also never mail bills or letters containing personal checks from home as they can be stolen too.

Keep your social security number safe. Don't carry your social security card around with you or any other card that has your number on it. Don't use your number on checks or bills that can be stolen.

Keeping your card in a secure place like a lock box is important as well; many times information like that is stolen form your home and later used for identity theft by burglars.

Don't leave receipts lying around. Never leave receipts behind at the bank, ATM or store. If you used a card to pay for something take the receipt with you as it contains information that can potentially be used for identity theft.

Never let your credit card out of your site. It is becoming increasingly common for employees of stores and restaurants to make copies of cards while they are away form their owners. If you can't keep track of your card pay with cash or check, or at restaurants pay the bill yourself instead of giving your car an employee.

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