Are You Increasing Your Own Risk of Identity Theft?

Identity Theft and Your Wallet

What's in your wallet? No, this isn't a credit card commercial. It's a serious question you need to ask yourself unless you want to unwittingly contribute to your own case of identity theft. Interested in learning why? Read on...

What's Your Wallet Saying About You?

When it comes to identity theft, it’s important that you don’t lug around every important personal document in your purse or wallet. Too many consumers make the mistake of carrying unnecessary personal documents with them on a regular basis. What types of identification do you need to carry around with you on a daily basis? This varies on what you plan on doing.

The overall concept is that you should only carry the necessary credit cards and identification that you need on each particular day. The reason is that in case you lose your wallet or purse, you wouldn’t have too much information out there that could be subject to identity theft.

Only The Necessities

If you plan to fly on a commercial airplane in the United States, you need to have your airline ticket and an approved photo identification. An approved photo identification is a valid passport, military id, or state issued driver’s license. You don’t need to carry all three of them. Make sure you have your driver’s license if plan to drive a vehicle any time on this trip. Another key is that you store these necessary documents safely so that an identity theft criminal doesn’t steal them when you are fumbling with your luggage.

If you plan to go to your bank and make a cash withdrawal, a driver’s license and your account number is sufficient. Obviously, you don’t need the driver’s license if you plan to make an ATM withdrawal, but you do obviously need you driver’s license if you plan on driving!

If you are starting a new job, you typically need to have an approved photo id and a social security card. If you don’t have a social security card, you typically could substitute a voter id card and an original copy of your birth certificate. Each state has different laws, so it would be a good idea to contact your HR department prior to your first day. Again, only carry the required information that you need and nothing else. You shouldn’t contribute to your own risk of identity theft by carrying around unneeded documents.

As far as credit cards, you typically only need to carry one credit card for emergency purposes. It is best to carry a Visa or MasterCard since they are most widely accepted. Make sure that you have a few hundred dollars of available credit on this card. Any credit cards that you have cancelled should be shredded and discarded. If you have credit card accounts that are still open, but you never use, you should keep those at home to reduce your risk of identity theft.

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