How to Safeguard Your Identity – Part 3

Identity theft doesn’t only occur on the Internet. The risk in the outside world is more real and more common than many people think. Like identity theft on the internet, an identity thief will most likely already have some kind of information about you. They will seek to get more information that will hopefully lead them to be able to take advantage of you monetarily.

Skimming is a common form of identity theft that can happen easily without the person’s knowledge. It’s a small device that can scan and store credit card data from the magnetic strip. Your credit card information can be taken quite easily with this device. In order to prevent this, always keep your credit card in site.  Check your bank and credit card regularly. Most of the time thieves make small purchases in hopes that these purchases go unnoticed.

 Dumpster Diving is when someone goes through your garbage in order to find information that will allow him or her to take your identity. Shredding your private information when you throw it out is the number one way to prevent this form of identity theft.

 Lost or Stolen Wallet can lead to your identity being stolen extremely quickly. It is important to contact the authorities and then cancel any cards or disable accounts as needed. Make sure to monitor your bank statements, credit card statements and credit score.

 Mail theft is a felony and criminals often use it to steal others’ identity. Taking your private bills and bank statement can allow criminals to steal your identity. Since, the mail is a federal agency if you suspect that your mail has been stolen or tampered with.  Make sure to contact them as soon as possible. A locking mailbox can also prevent your mail from being taken without your knowledge.

Shoulder Surfing happens at the ATM. Someone will attempt to see what your PIN (personal identification number) is. When you go to the ATM you have to be aware of everyone around you. If someone is too close to you it might be a sign, that they are trying to see your PIN. If you think someone knows you PIN you should change it at your bank. It’s also a good idea to change your PIN every 4 to 6 month.

 Knowing how someone will try to steal your identity is the first step in protecting yourself from identity theft. There are some simple things that you should always do to keep your identity safe. First, always be mindful of the information that you give out and who you give this information to. Second, check your credit card and bank statement for any activity that is not your own. Finally, doing a background check on yourself with can help you identify if your identity has been stolen. Searching yourself is quick and easy.



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