Monday, May 09, 2005
How to avoid becoming an Identity Theft victim:
- Do not give your Social Security number, mother's maiden name, or account numbers to strangers who contact you by phone, Internet, or mail.
- Guard your mail from theft.
- Pay attention to the time of the month your bills arrive (and call up the service you are subscribed to, if the bill doesnt come on time).
- Put passwords on all your accounts with creditors.
- Dont carry your Social Security Card (I carry a photocopy in my wallet).
- Dont carry credit cards or ID cards that you dont need.
- Cut or shred credit cards or ID cards you dont need.
- Cut or shred unwanted documents.
- Order a copy of your credit report at least once a year. (check this out to get your free credit report).
- Keep a log of every transaction and action.
- Report identity theft to the police or sheriff in the area where you live.
- Report the identity theft to your bank and other creditors.
- Contact the three major (Experian, TransUnion and EquiFax) credit reporting agencies.
- Ask businesses to provide you with information about transactions make in your name (Businesses are mandated by a law in Washington to provide it).
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) identity theft hotline (1-877-IDTHEFT) or visit their website.
Copyright Anand Jain 2004, 2005. All rights