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5 Tips to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

5 Tips to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Will you know if your identity gets stolen? Use these tips to protect yourself against identity theft and help you know if you have been targeted.

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Will you know if your identity gets stolen? Use these tips to protect yourself against identity theft and help you know if you have been targeted.

  1. Shred your documents. Before you toss paperwork or old bills make sure to shred them! Dumpster diving is a common method used by thieves whereby they go through dumpsters in search of paperwork and/or bills that will provide personal information.
  2. Know the signs of phishing. Thieves often use email, text messaging, and pop-up messaging to pose as financial institutions or other businesses in order to trick you into revealing your personal information. Remember, legitimate companies do not ask for personal information over these types of platforms. When in doubt, contact the business by looking up the phone number on a financial statement or the back of your credit card.
  3. Keep strong passwords. Your passwords are the first line of defense you have to protect your accounts and personally identifiable information. They should be long, strong and updated regularly. For password tips, watch this video.
  4. Share with care. Think twice about sharing personal information online. Never give out your full name, address, birth date, or any other personally identifiable information that could be used to impersonate you or gain access to your accounts.
  5. Monitor your accounts. Many individuals realize their identity has been stolen by noticing inaccuracies appearing on their monthly bank and/or credit card statements or credit report. If you suspect you may be a victim of identity theft, you should:
    1. Immediately contact the police and file a police report. You may need to file a police report specific to identity theft, called an Identity Theft Report.
    2. Contact one of the three credit bureaus that can assist in placing a fraud alert on your credit report. Whichever bureau you contact must report it to the other two:
      Equifax | www.equifax.com/CreditReportAssistance | 800.766.0008
      Experian | www.experian.com/fraud/center.html | 888.397.3742
      TransUnion | www.transunion.com/Fraud | 800.680.7289

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.