How Receipts Can Help Fight Identity Theft

Can Keeping Your Receipts Help You If You Become an Identity Theft Victim?

When you hear news reports about identity theft that involve everyday businesses, you are quickly reminded just how often you use your credit and debit cards. As a result, you are also reminded how much your risk of identity theft has increased. The more your card numbers are out there, technically the greater your risk of identity theft is. Below you’ll learn about one new case of identity theft that recently made headlines. You’ll also learn what I consider to be some very useful tips for offsetting the damage that can be caused should you become the victim of identity theft.

Packratting: A Necessary Evil?

Most home organization experts frown up on this suggestion, but from an identity theft standpoint, it really is a good idea to hang onto all the receipts from purchases you made using your debit or credit cards. The first thing you should do is cross reference every receipt with your credit card statements. Even after you do that, it can still be a good idea to hold onto those receipts. If you ever discover that you have been the victim of identity theft, you can retrace your purchases.

Using your debit and credit cards at retail stores is just one way that you put yourself at risk for identity theft, but if you keep your receipts you can reconstruct a timeline. Perhaps, you will notice that unauthorized purchases were charged to your credit card two weeks after you used it at a particular retail location. Cleaning up your credit record after you become the victim of identity theft can be a lengthy and difficult process. Any bit of information or evidence you have to clarify how or when you became the victim of identity theft can certainly help the process.

Nothing Lasts Forever

Obviously it is impractical to keep receipts forever, but you should at least keep them for three years. That way if you become the victim of identity theft in that time frame you can refer back to your receipts and try to make some sense of the situation.

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