How can someone steal your identity? By taking your name, Social Security number (SSN), credit card number, or some other piece of your personal information for their own use. In short, identity theft occurs when someone assumes your personal information, without your prior knowledge, to commit fraud or theft.
Tips to help prevent Identity Theft:
- Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com
- Monitor your credit report regularly and report any suspicious activity.
- Monitor your accounts – if your debit card was used check your bank account frequently. You may also want to keep only the money you will immediately need in that account.
- Monitor your credit card account for charges. Make sure those charges were made by you and you have receipts to back them up. If you notice unusual activity, report it immediately.
- Monitor your accounts online. Check accounts frequently to spot unauthorized charges faster.
- When checking your records don’t just look for large charge. In some cases the charge may be only a dollar or two to sniff-out whether the card works.
- The most important message is to not be fooled by phishing scams, and don’t click on links.
ID theft can happen in a number of ways. Remember these additional tips.
Other tips to help with ID Theft:
- Only carry and use credit cards that you need.
- Copy cards back and front and keep copies in a secure location.
- If you aren’t using a card, cancel it.
- Don’t sign your card, instead write “check photo ID”.
- Place outgoing mail in a secure box.
- Use locked box and pick up incoming mail as soon as possible.
- Consider central delivery into locked boxes.
- Check your glove compartment and other areas of the car and remove personally identifiable documents. Never use your glove box as your “wallet”.
- Keep personal items out of view.
- Shred all documents containing person information. Don’t throw items away with personal information; they can be used to steal your identity.
If you are a victim:
- Notify credit grantors on existing accounts and accounts you believe may have been fraudulently opened in your name.
- Complete an ID Theft Affidavit
- Contact BBB at 806/379-6222 www.bbb.org/Amarillo