12 Tips to Help Prevent Identity Theft

There were more than 650,000 instances of reported identity theft in 2019, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Separate information from Javelin Strategy & Research found that consumers lost almost $17 billion to fraud in the same year. 

Tips to Help Prevent Identity Theft

1. Know How Identity Theft Happens

So how else can identity theft happen? It can occur through a mix of digital and physical methods, which include—but aren’t limited to—the following: – Mail theft – Card skimming – Email phishing – Scams, whether over the phone, on the internet, or in person – Bogus verification sites – Outright theft or burglary

2. Never Carry Your Social Security Card

Your Social Security number is a critical piece of data and often known only by you. Criminals could use a stolen SSN to open up new debt accounts and otherwise defraud you. 

When your Social Security number is requested for something like a loan application, be sure that the organization is totally legitimate. It’s important that you proceed extremely carefully when giving your Social Security number to anyone. 

3. Give Your SSN Only to Trusted Entities

If you’re throwing away important documents with personally identifying information, criminals can steal that information or use it to access other accounts. Buy a shredder and shred all documents that include sensitive information.   

4. Shred Documents

Retrieve your mail on a daily basis, especially if your mailbox is at the end of a driveway. If you’re heading  out of town for business or a vacation, arrange for a neighbor or friend—someone you trust—to retrieve your mail for you and keep it in a safe location. 

5. Don’t Neglect Your Mail

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