Things You Can Do to Make Sure You Are Not a Victim of Identity Theft

The more you have the more you have to lose, if you have a lot of credit cards and financial assets it is a good idea to keep vigilant and make sure there are no anomalies in your statements and transaction records. Sometimes it is easy to overlook things, so I will help you out by telling you what actions you can take that your identity and financial information is currently secure. I will also put in a few tips to keep it that way.

credit cards and keys

1.) Monitor Your Statements

It is important that you check your credit card and bank statements as frequently as possible, ones a week at least. Carefully review each charge and withdrawal, even the smallest amount. One way thieves avoid being detected is by stealing small amounts in a long period of time, take note of every transaction that you can’t explain or remember, it could just be something you forgotten or something really bad. If there is anything unusual notify your bank immediately in order for them to start investigation and lock out any access apart from yours to the account.

2.) Monitor Your Credit Report

Do this as regularly as possible, it is the best way to know that there isn’t someone taking out loans and claiming to be you.

3.) Destroy Documents

If you have sensitive documents you want to dispose of, don’t just shred it, wash it in bleach! Things that might seem harmless old documents could be a piece of information that could allow people to piece your information together and steal your identity.

4.) Credit not Debit

A lot of people say debit is better, maybe if you are talking about avoiding getting in debt, but debit cards are the worst when it comes to security. If someone is able to get your card’s information your balance is the one the gets charged.  Credit cards on the other hand gives protection to their clients, if an unauthorized transaction is made they can easily reverse the charges as they are mandated by law to do.

5.) Look Out For Phishers

Let it be by phone call or through email, phishers are everywhere.  They could call you regarding a concern about your account, such as unauthorized charges, or you could receive an email that seemed like it came from your bank or company who you do business with, these are a few of the ways phishers  use to get your information.  If you would like to avoid this, establish a good relationship with someone from your bank and credit card issuer, the moment you receive messages or calls that supposedly came from these institutions, hang up and give them a call. This way you can still address the matter while at the same time avoid phishers.

The best way to keep your personal information secure is by being more vigilant; do what seems like the most sensible thing to do.  Often times we make the biggest mistakes because of our carelessness and thoughtless actions.

Read more at http://www.houstontx.gov/police/crime_prevention/id_theft.htm