Identity Theft and Credit Fraud Prevention Tips
Prevention is the best cure for identity theft, and it never hurts to be too careful. Protect yourself and help prevent identity theft with these helpful tips:
- Look out for skimmers. These nearly undetectable card readers steal debit and credit card information and are commonly placed over credit card devices at ATMs and gas pumps. To check for a skimmer, try to shake the credit card device. If there is any movement, do not insert your card.
- Check your account balance and transactions frequently.
- Shred and destroy documents with personal information prior to throwing them away.
- Don’t respond to emails, texts, or phone calls with personal information. Ask the sender/caller to send you information by mail.
- Check your mailbox daily and bring in your mail.
- Take notice of when your monthly financial statements are mailed. Notify us and your financial institution if you do not receive a statement.
- Call the post office when you go out of town to temporarily halt mail delivery.
- Don’t throw away any credit card receipts without destroying them first.
- Watch your credit card expiration dates. If you do not receive a replacement card, contact your financial institution. If they issued a replacement card, contact PrivacyMaxx immediately.
- Regularly change your usernames and passwords.
- Reduce your risk of identity theft by getting cash back in stores while making a purchase rather than using an ATM to withdraw cash. When fueling up your car, go inside to pay rather than using your credit card at the pump.
- Never let your credit or debit card out of your sight. Unfortunately, there are cases of identity theft where unscrupulous cashiers steal credit card information from behind the counter.
- Use a single card for holiday shopping to easily monitor your purchases and identify any abnormal activity or transactions.
- Keep an eye out for “shoulder surfing.” Strangers behind you could be looking to gain access to your PIN. Be aware of your surroundings.
- Although these tips will better protect YOU, obtaining comprehensive identity theft protection will protect your family, minimize damage, and ease recovery. Learn about Security First's Identity Theft Protection Services. We've partnered with PrivacyMaxx to provide identity monitoring service to our homeowners, condo owners, and renters insurance policyholders.
Want to learn more about internet security and online safety? Read about online phishing scams and password security.