Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft | Auto & Homeowners Insurance in Lawrenceville, Georgia

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Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 09:44 -- Danny

According to the Federal

Trade Commission,

as many as 10 million

Americans have their

identity stolen each year. Many

people do not realize how easily

criminals can obtain personal

data without having to break into

someone’s home. For example,

while out in public, criminals often

watch potential victims from a

nearby location. They listen as you

give your credit card number over

the phone or watch as you enter

your PIN number during a debit

card transaction. They even go

through your garbage cans at

home to obtain copies of checks,

credit card and bank statements

or other records that include your

personal information.

With enough information, a criminal can take over an individual’s identity and

commit a wide variety of crimes. To prevent this from happening to you, the

following checklist offers some tips to help you ensure your identity remains


• Don’t give out your personal information to others unless you have a reason

to trust them.

• Adopt a “need to know” approach to your personal information. For example,

your credit card company may need to know your mother’s maiden name,

so it can verify your identity when you call to inquire about your account.

However, if a person from the credit card company calls you and asks for that

information, do not give it to them. Instead, call the credit card company

yourself using the number on the back of your card, not the number the

person on the phone gives you, and contact them that way. If they are in

fact trying to contact you, they will get you to the person you need to talk to.

• Do not carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate or

passport in your wallet or purse except when needed. Store your purse or

wallet in a safe place at work.

• When ordering new checks, pick them up at the bank. Don’t have them

mailed to your home. If you have a post office box, use that address on your

checks rather than your home address so thieves will not know where you live.

• Don’t include your Social Security number or phone number on your checks.

The more personal data you routinely hand out to people, the easier it is for

criminals to steal your identity.

• Keep a list or photocopy of all your credit cards, bank accounts and

investments in a secure place so that you can quickly contact these companies

in case your credit cards have been stolen or accounts are used fraudulently.

• If you are traveling, have your mail held at your local post office, or ask

someone you trust to collect your mail while you are away.