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Can Identity Theft Happen to Me?

Yes it Can! Follow These Steps In Order to Protect Yourself

The Federal Trade Commission is well aware that identity theft is a huge problem in America today. However, the general population is not aware that they truly are at risk and still have the mentality that “Identity theft can’t happen to me.” Having this type of attitude will likely put you at an even higher risk of identity theft. However, you can do several things to protect yourself and your identity. Consider these following suggestions and if you implement them into your life you will lower your chances of being subjected to identity theft.

Tip #1 Guard Your Social Security Number
Your social security number is what is always verified before your credit report is issued, also what banks generally verify before giving any personal account information over the phone or else allowing you to change passwords or other information. Because of this you should be sure you take special care of your social security number. You can do this by memorizing it and guarding your SSN card in a safe place. Additionally, when you are required to provide your social security number for a loan or credit card application, lease on an apartment, or any other reason make sure that once a decision has been made you see your SSN shredded. That way your SSN won’t be floating around and you wont’ be at an increased risk of identity theft.

Tip #2 Shred, Shred, and Shred
When you are throwing out old credit card and bank statements, as well as insurance information, make sure you shred the information once or even twice to be sure your social security , credit, and banking information will not be able to be deciphered if someone decides to plunder through your trash.

Tip #3 Monitor Your Credit Report
Your credit report is a great way to know what activity is taking place with your credit. If you see anything slightly off make sure you contact the credit bureaus immediately to find out what is going on and to flag your account for possible identity theft. That way if a thief has your personal information they will find it much more difficult to penetrate your account and you will stop the thief in his tracks.

Tip #4 Carry Only What You Need
Many people lose their purse or wallet, or have their purse or wallet stolen each year. If these individuals are carrying all of their debit and credit cards, checkbook, and personal information then they will have a nightmare trying to sort the situation out and stop the thieves in their tracks before the damage is done. However, if you only carry what you need at any given time if this unfortunate event happens to you then your risk will be substantially lower because you can easily remember what cards were in your purse or wallet and cancel them. Another tip is to have photocopies of all of your credit and debit cards, or personal information like insurance policies and the like you keep in your purse or wallet. Guard this information in a safe place and in the event your purse or wallet is stolen you will be able to act quicker and stop the thieves from accessing commandeering your identity.

Remember, everyone is at risk for identity theft and while you can’t prevent it you can lower your chances and be prepared in the event it happens. When you have your guard up you will notice quicker there is a problem and save yourself many hours of credit repair work and lawyer’s fees simply by taking care of your personal information and always being aware of your credit report.

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