Another Easy Way to Remember How to Reduce Your Identity Theft Risk

Identity Theft This Holiday Season

Identity theft is always a concern, but during the holiday season your risk of identity theft increases quite a bit. While you should always take precautions to prevent identity theft, you should definitely step up your efforts during the holidays. Here are some helpful tips to reduce your identity theft risk this holiday season. Just keep the word “holiday” in mind, and you’ll be prepared this year.

H

Have an “identity theft” kit in a safe place in your house. In this kit, keep photocopies of all your credit cards both front and back. In the unfortunate event that you become an identity theft victim this holiday season, you’ll have the contact information you need to contact each of your credit card companies.

O

Open all your credit card statements and then discard any important paperwork containing sensitive financial information in a separate container than your trash. When you have time, make sure you shred this paperwork with a crosscut shredder.

L

Leave your social security card at home. There is rarely a good reason to carry your social security card in your wallet. If your purse gets stolen, the criminal will have access to your social security number. If you’re starting a new job, then you’ll probably need to take your social security card to the human resources department. Otherwise, leave it at a home in a locked safe.

I

If you go on vacation, make sure you place a hold on your mailbox. You don’t want to come home to an unlocked and overflowing mailbox. An identity theft criminal can easily wipe a pre-approved credit card offer you receive while away on vacation. That’s really all they’ll need to commit identity theft.

D

Don’t give out your social security, bank account numbers, or any other personal or financial information to an unsolicited telephone caller. Identity theft criminals, unfortunately, sometimes get the information they need to commit identity theft by impersonating banks or other financial institutions.

A

Always check your credit report on a yearly basis. It’s important to keep an eye on your credit report regularly so you can quickly spot potential identity theft and report it immediately.

Y

You should never share your social security number, computer passwords, or bank account information with anyone including friends and family members. In some cases, someone close to the victim who has access to the person’s social security number and bank account information commits identity theft.

Keep the above HOLIDAY tips in mind and you can enjoy the holidays without worrying about becoming the next identity theft victim this holiday season.

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