General Fraud Tips
Follow these tips to help protect yourself from fraud.
- Do not provide any of your personal information to anyone in person, over the phone, or over the internet, unless you trust them.
- Carry only necessary information with you. Leave your social security card and unused credit cards at home in a safe and secure location.
- Do not provide your Social Security number to anyone unless absolute necessary.
- Do not give out any personal information on any web sites that are not secured or encrypted.
- Make copies of vital information you carry regularly and store them in a secure location. This information would come handy, if your purse or wallet was stolen.
- Limit the information on your checks. For example, do not have your social security number printed on the checks.
- Do not put your trash out until shortly before the trash is picked up.
- Promptly retrieve your mail to limit the opportunity for theft.
- Instead of receiving paper statements, invoices and checks asked if these can be received electronically.
- Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. This can prevent theft by dumpster divers.
- Know your billing and statement cycles. Contact the company’s customer service department if you stop receiving your regular bill or statement. Also, notify the bank if you do not receive your bank statement. This could indicate fraudulent activity by identity theft.
- If you are traveling, ask the post office to hold your mail or have someone that you trust to retrieve your mail daily from your mailbox. Place outgoing mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox to reduce the chance of mail theft.
- Examine your credit card, debit/ATM, and bank statements immediately when you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized transactions. Report any that you find immediately to the financial institution.
- Review your credit report at least annually, looking for suspicious or unknown transactions. The Credit Bureau will provide one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com. For a small fee you can request a credit report anytime directly from:
- Use a firewall to protect your identity online. The software can be purchased at any software retailer or online.