Identity Theft is the fastest-growing white collar crime in America, it occurs when some steals your personal information and uses it without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. ID theft can cause you money as well as ruin your credit.
Here are some useful tips to help you protect yourself from ever becoming a victim of ID theft:
- Shred any financial documents and paperwork with personal information.
- Protect your Social Security Number. Never carry your SS card in your wallet.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone, mail or internet unless you know the person.
- Never click on links sent from emails you dont recognize. Make sure to use firewalls and anti-spyware on your computer.
- Dont use obvious passwords like your birth date, mother’s maiden name or last digits of your Social Security number
- Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you live with a roommate.
If you ever become a victim of Identity Theft, here are some things you should do:
- Contact the credit report agencies and place a “fraud alert”
- Make sure to close accounts that have been tampered with.
- File a police report
- Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
For more information on Identity Theft and ways to protect yourself visit: AvoID Theft
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