In continuing our series on how to protect yourself from identity theft, here are some tips to follow to keep those thieves at bay.
Always answer the phone if your bank is calling. They have special fraud departments that are specifically on the lookout for any strange charges on your account, and will be calling you to verify. If you hear from your bank that they have had a problem, make sure to call them back immediately.
If you haven’t received your monthly credit card statement, make sure to notify your bank right away. Same goes with medical bills and other important documents. If this becomes commonplace, you could have a serious problem as the thief could have changed your address and/or could be stealing your mail. Same goes with email statements, as email is easier to hack than physical mail.
Generally, your medical records and bills should be kept for at least one year after payment. On the other hand, credit card statements can be destroyed after 45 days. It is important to invest in paper shredding services from a reputable paper shredding company as they will be able to properly dispose of your sensitive information without putting your identity at risk.
If you are shopping online, make sure to check your browser before putting in your credit card information. The “https” part of the website address, or the entire bar, will be highlighted in green to signal to you that this is a secure website and it is safe to enter your information. If it is not green, your information if entered can be easily stolen and encrypted.
If you are sure you have good credit, but are denied an application, it is time to investigate. A sudden change in your status can mean you have been accessed, so it is important to look into the cause immediately.
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