Every hour, 1,000 Americans become victims of Identity Theft. And that may be a low estimate. How can you protect yourself? Here are ten easy tips that will help you keep your finances secure.
- Place your outgoing mail in a secure, locked mailbox.
- Retrieve your incoming mail immediately upon delivery, or use a U.S. Post Office box.
- Never leave your purse or wallet unattended - even for a moment.
- Guard your Social Security Number. Do not use it as your Driver's License number and never give it out unless absolutely necessary (such as for banking business).
- Memorize your passwords and PINs - don't carry them with you.
- Beware of fraudulent callers. Never give your Social Security number, account numbers or any personal information to anyone who calls you. There are numerous scams where callers identify themselves as your bank, credit card company or a fraud investigation firm trying to help you.
- Shred receipts, bank statements, pre-approved credit card offers and convenience checks.
- Carefully review all bank statements, credit card statements and bills.
- Order your credit report annually (visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228). Review to ensure all the information is correct, especially your name, address, and Social Security number. Look for indications of fraud, such as unauthorized applications, unfamiliar credit accounts, credit inquiries and defaults and delinquencies that you did not cause.
- Report lost or stolen checks to your bank and law enforcement immediately.
At Central Bank and Trust Co., we're committed to fighting ID Theft. We help catch and prosecute these criminals. For more tips on how to fight financial fraud, contact us or visit the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft