What You Can Do To Avoid Identity Theft

Identity theft is extremely serious. Whether it is a Social Security number, a Personal Identification Number (PIN), or credit card number, identity thieves can use this information to withdrawal from bank account(S), filing fraudulent tax returns, opening new lines of credit, and other crimes.

Petty thieves and hardened criminals use simple and sophisticated methods to steal identities. Certain protective measures can help you keep your identity safe.

·         Keep your Social Security number in a safe place and avoid sharing the number at unauthorized places on and offline.
·         Do not write your PIN number on paper slips, at the back of your credit/debit card or share it with many people.
·         Never give out your tax filing status and/or personal information over the phone. When there is no way to authenticate, it is wise not to trust the caller until you are certain.
·         Shred any papers or documents with tax filing information before disposing them. Many tax thieves search through trash to gather financial and tax information.
·         Protect your computer with firewall and virus-detection software. It will protect you from malware designed to steal information.
·         Never open attachments or links in unsolicited emails. Type the correct URL or Google to know the correct URL of a website. Bookmark important sites.

Protecting your identity is not difficult; all it needs is awareness and caution when storing and sharing information.

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