With the holiday shopping season in high gear, it is more important than ever to protect yourself from identity theft! There are many ways that thieves can get your information in person, by telephone or online by stealing your wallet, rifling through trash or by compromising your credit or bank account. The sources of information are numerous; minimize your risk by following these guidelines suggested by the FBI:
- Never throw away ATM receipts, credit card statements, credit cards or bank statements in a usable form.
- Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you made the phone call.
- Reconcile your bank account monthly, and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.
- Keep a list of telephone numbers to call to report the loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
- Report unauthorized financial transactions to our bank, credit card company, and the police as soon as you detect them.
- Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries and follow through until they are explained or removed.
- If your identity has been assumed, ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.
- If you know of anyone who received mail from credit card companies or banks in the names of others, report it to local or federal law enforcement authorities.