How the Grinch Stole My Identity…….
“Tis the season”…for thieves to steal your identity.
The holiday season is the busiest season for us and for identity theft thieves. There is enough to do without having to fix an identity breech. From November through the end of January, the rate of identity theft skyrockets. More than credit card fraud, identity theft can wipe out your finances, take numerous hours for you to fix and takes valuable time away from your family and work.
A FEW TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK
1. Use cross cut SHREDDER for personal or financial documents.
2. Prevent pre-approved credit card offers from being sent to you by calling 888-5-OPT-OUT.
3. Track of all purchases. Keep receipts in your wallet – not in the bag or on the bag. Read your credit card and bank account statements thoroughly. When in doubt, pay cash.
4. Password-protect your laptops, wireless phones, pagers, and MP3 players and don’t’ store personal id information on these devices. Use upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters (! $ &)
5. Check your credit report with one of the three major credit agencies: www.annualcreditreport.com
6. Consider signing up for a quality identity theft service. Such services alert you via email anytime there is an inquiry or other activity to your credit report and does the work to restore your identity if a problem occurs.
7. Secure all personal information even while at home . Unfortunately, many times an ID thief is someone you know. Remove temptation from holiday visitors by putting personal information out of sight, better yet store sensitive information off site in a safety deposit box.