Identity theft occurs when your personal information is stolen. Any email, friend request, phone call, text, or tweet can lead to Identity Theft. IdentityTheft.info has reported that around 15 million people experience identity theft a year. Follow these tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim:
- Always keep your credit cards and social security cards in a safe location that only you have access to.
- Do not leave your social security card in your purse or wallet. Wallet and handbag theft is a common first step to identity theft.
- When talking to an employee of a corporation or organization on the phone, be the one to initiate the conversation.
- One of the most commonly used methods of identity theft is skimming your card's information at a public store.
- Collect your mail as soon as possible and ask your local post office to hold your mail when you are away.
- Ask for hard copies of all receipts and compare them to your billing statement when they arrive.
- Do not respond to unsolicited messages via email, social media, or phone. If it has to do with personal information, always be the initiator.
- Shred all paper with personal information you no longer wish to keep.
- Review your credit reports annually - go to AnnualCreditReport.com for a free credit report annual or call 1-877-322-8228.
- Avoid online lotteries that are conducted by organization that are unknown to you.
If you think your identity has been stolen, contact our Fraud Prevention Department at 800-942-9575.