How To Protect Yourself From ID Theft – ID theft is a crime that occurs when someone uses your personal information to get loans, rentals, mortgages, and credit cards at the expense of your name and credit. Some thieves commit these crimes while impersonating you, which is taking things to a whole new level of criminal activity.
Identity theft happens all of the time. There are people who buy stolen credit cards and social security numbers to create birth certificates and other forms of identification.
In order to prevent this, some people have gone so far as to cancel their debit cards for better security, but keep in mind, the banks have new security measures to keep your account and debit card safe.
It’s frightening to think about, especially since these thieves strike when you least expect them to, but there are some things that you can do now so that it doesn’t happen to you in the future.
Here’s a small list of things that you can do in order to help you prevent ID theft:
1. If you don’t have a paper shredder, you need one. This machine can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 or more, depending on the brand, but all you need is a cheap one. Never throw away anything that comes in the mail.
2. Don’t throw anything away that would allow someone to assume your identity. If you order a new driver’s license online, shred the old one as soon as you get the renewed one. Some thieves “dumpster dive,” by going through someone else’s trash to find anything that could help them steal their identity.
3. Ever heard of “shoulder surfers?” They wait with you at an ATM to get your PIN as you type it in. You will be surprised at how many people punch in their PIN without realizing that someone is lurking around trying to steal their information.
4. If you get a new bank account, never have your checks delivered to your home. Ask them to deliver the checks to your bank and pick them up there.
5. If you still mail checks to pay bills, do not put them in your home mailbox. Be sure to drop them off at a local U.S. Post Office box. Thieves can use acid wash to change the payee name and then cash the check.