Preventing Identity TheftSome thieves steal your identity the old-fashioned way -- by pilfering your wallet or purse. Others dumpster dive, fishing credit card bills or other documents from trash. Some search the workplace for Social Security numbers. Thieves also use the Internet, where with the simple click of a mouse, your most intimate information is available without your permission. Hackers can easily access personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number and other personal data.
Minimize the amount of information a thief can steal. Do not carry credit cards or a Social Security card. Only carry what you need.
Remove your name from mailing lists. This will reduce the likelihood that you will receive unsolicited, preapproved credit card offers, which thieves can steal from your mailbox. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
Never give out personal information. Unless you have a trusted relationship with the company and you initiate the contact.
Shred financial documents before you throw them out.
Order your credit reports at least once a year. If you are a victim of fraud, you may catch it early to minimize the damage.