Have you ever wondered how to stop identity theft from happening to you?
You've heard all the horror stories about people who have their information stolen and before they know it, their credit rating is sunk, companies are calling them to collect bills for purchases they didn't make, or they are actually in legal trouble.
Learn how to stop identity theft before it happens.
To begin, don't lose your personal information by being too passive about it. Keep an eye on your mail; pick it up right away or get a locked box or P.O. Box.
If your mail stops coming, call the post office right away to make sure someone else didn't change your address. If a bill is late coming, call the company to make sure they know you didn't receive it.
Shred all paperwork with any personal information, including credit card offers. When you use an ATM or your credit or debit card, don't leave the receipt behind. Finally, keep an eye on your credit card; to prevent "skimming", don't let it leave your field of vision if possible.
Don't give out your information without extreme caution. Always make sure that a request for your information is legitimate and that you know where your information is going.
If a company contacts you by phone and asks for information, get the company's number from your records and call them back.
The same goes for online information; go through the official website rather than responding to emails or pop-ups that ask for personal information.
Find out how confidential your information will be before you give it out, and opt for more privacy whenever you can. If identification is accepted besides your social security number or even driver's license number, use the more cautious option.
Finally, know your own information. Keep track of your credit card statements and review them carefully for activity that isn't yours.
Monitor your credit report by checking it annually. And if you have any reason to think your information has been stolen, take immediate action to prevent its being used wrongfully.
Identity theft can be a scary thing, but as long as you know how to stop identity theft and you practice good prevention, you have little reason to fear.
Like any other danger in life, most of your safety comes from being alert and using simple tools to protect yourself.
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