We take so many precautions to protect what is tangible and replaceable but we leave ourselves exposed to the possibility of identity theft every day. Once your identity is stolen the damage can be extensive.
One of the most notorious cases of identity theft, the thief, a convicted felon incurred over $100,000 in credit card debt, obtained a home loan, purchased vehicles and hand guns in the name of the victim and then filed for bankruptcy in the victim’s name. The victim’s credit and reputation were destroyed. Could this happen to you? The answer is YES!
Here are a few suggestions to keep your identity safe:
- Do not leave outgoing mail in the mailbox with the flag up. Thieves just grab your outgoing mail and get your information off the bills you just paid. They can also change your mailing address to a P.O. Box so that future mail will come to them. Then they can apply for a new credit card or higher limits on your current card.
- Never hang your purse on the back of your chair in a restaurant. Items can be taken and it could be days before you discover anything missing.
- Check credit scores every Quarter. This is free annually.
- Get credit service like lifelock.
- Do not give personal information to someone who calls you. i.e.: Alarm company calls and says there is a problem with alarm and they ask for your security code. They then say that didn’t work what’s your social security number. Ok that worked we can fix problem from here. It’s a Scam. Now they have all your information.
- Never use Wi-Fi at coffee shops
- Protect your credit cards and keys. Salesmen puts credit card down on table and someone quickly takes a picture. Keys can be made with just a picture now.
- Sales person has small card reader that attaches to their phone. They quickly scan and then sell your credit card number.
- Buy aluminum wallet or sleeves that go over credit cards. New devices can read your credit cards in your wallet.
- Change your passwords frequently or try out the new double password system. Google offers a 2 step verification.
If your identity is stolen do you have coverage? Most Homeowners policy do offer this. Check with your insurance agent today.
Customer Service Representative