4 Ways To Prevent Identity Theft

bigstock Computer Data Privacy and Secu 940581 4 Ways To Prevent Identity TheftAre you looking for ways to prevent identity theft? Unfortunately, there is no foolproof method to do this. However, you can reduce the possibility of being victimized by this type of crime if you take the following very simple measures:

1.    Never leave the ATM stubs in the ATM booth. If you do not need it, tear it into tiny pieces or run it through a shredder. Do not throw it away merely crumpling it into a ball. This can be picked up and used for identity theft by experienced criminals. If you do not plan on taking the receipt with you, there are machines that give you the option to not have the receipt printed. Check your balance and the screen and skip the printed receipt.

2.    Never give your password or any other information pertaining to your bank accounts over email or phone, especially if you have not initiated the contact. In case you are contacted by anyone (either through email or phone) ask them their name and address and offer to come in person and give the required details. If they claim the matter is urgent and they are from your financial institution, take their information and inform them that you will call or go in person to your local branch. If you are discouraged from doing so or the person insists- a red flag should go up in your mind. Immediately end the conversation and report it to your financial institution. If you feel that you may be falling victim to identity thieves- file a police report.

3.    Never throw any bills in the garbage without shredding them first. Buy a shredder that cuts paper into small diamond shapes as opposed to merely shredding them in strips.  Identity theft criminals go through the waste and can pick up valuable information from bills. They can go through great lengths to obtain your vital information. Make the process difficult. It is also a good practice to split the garbage from your shredder into two or three bags and dispose of them over several days.

4.    Request that all bills and alerts be sent by email. This way you will avoid the risk of having someone going through your mail and picking up sensitive financial information. Be aware of when bills are expected to arrive. If you find that your bills are not arriving or arrive damaged, that can be a sign that someone else is viewing your information.

Source:   4 Ways To Prevent Identity Theft

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