It can happen to anyone, anytime. Your phone suddenly rings and a man on the other line demands you to pay your past-due bills for purchases you never made. You’re trying to buy flowers for your date, but your credit card gets declined. You pay your bills every month and then suddenly have no history of non-payment. What went wrong?
These are common scenarios that surround ID theft. Identity theft on the Web is becoming more rampant nowadays. It strikes fear in consumers, because of its damaging effects on the poor victims.
Despite your efforts to live a responsible financial life, you can still end up with a bad credit from id theft. Listed below are some tips you can use to protect yourself from id theft:Treat your trash with care
Credit card receipts and other billing statements that seem to have no value to us anymore can be directly tossed into the garbage can, because these are now “trash.” However, your trash bin can be a goldmine for id thieves looking for valuable information to steal. Thieves known as “dumpster divers” recycle your waste, especially if it’s an old bill or credit card receipt, because the information contained in this piece of paper is what they need to create fraud accounts on your name. What you have to do is to destroy, through burning or shredding, all you important receipts before disposing to prevent these thieves from hurting your credit.Check card slots for signs of skimming
Credit card skimming is a sophisticated way to copy all the information from the consumer’s card. Just one swipe of your card in the ATM machine, and your personal information can be stolen. By fitting the skimming device in the card reader slot, thieves can transfer the information of victim to a blank card, which they’ll use to purchase items and other services. Common areas of skimming are gas stations and ATMs. Remember to check the card swiper before using it, for signs of tampering or other unnecessarily attached devices.Be mindful of your monthly statements
Stay alert because ID thieves sometimes steal your bills directly from your mailbox. If you haven’t received your credit card statement and other utility bills when you usually do (and it never arrives), notify your card company. Inform them that you haven’t received your bills for the month yet. If you know when to expect your statements and you call your creditors to inform them about the incident, the earlier you can detect an identity theft.Carry only what you need in your wallet. Sign up for a credit monitoring plan from a trusted company such as LifeLock or one of the 3 major credit bureaus. This will help keep daily tabs on your credit reports and alert you of any potential identity theft threats.
It is weekend and you’re on your way to the supermarket to buy things that you’ll need. Is it really necessary to bring all your credit cards? Will you need your passport and social security number during this time? Just one credit card is enough to pay for the purchases you’ll make, and there’s no need to carry your other IDs all the time. Bring only the most needed valuable whenever you’re outside, and leave others at home. Keep them secure because once you lose or misplace them, ID theft can take place.