Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tips to safeguard your identity

In order to protect your finances and credit report, it is required to take certain important steps. Many people fall victims to identity theft every year. Starting anew is a difficult and time-consuming process. Credit cards are popular tools that invite thieves to get their hands on your credit related information. Here are a few tips to curb the risk of identity theft.

Tip #1: Don’t Carry Too Many Credit Cards

Don’t carry all of your credit cards and debit cards with you everywhere you go. If your wallet or purse gets stolen or lost then you are a dead duck. It is better to carry only one or two credit cards at a time. Even debit cards should be left at home, as they provide thieves with instant access to your credit details.

Tip #2: Keep an eye on your credit and debit cards all the time

Identity thieves make use of skimmers to swipe or scan your cards thus stealing your account information. This may happen in hotels and restaurants where waiters ask for your credit card to pay your bill. Once your credit card information is stolen, the thief can use it for online shopping or make a counterfeit credit card using your information.

Tip #3: Photocopy All of Your Credit and Debit Cards

As soon as you get a new credit or debit card, make sure you get it photocopied and put them in a secure place. Make sure to photocopy the customer service telephone number, account numbers and the expiration dates. This way, even if you lose your cards you can find the information easily.

Tip #4: Keep Credit Card Receipts

After paying for items with a card, never throw the receipt in the trash. A lot of your credit related information is contained on the card. You should rather put the receipts in a safe place and then check that the receipts match up with your monthly statement.

Tip #5: Don’t Give Out Information Over the Phone

Make sure that you never give out your credit card information over the phone or the internet. Only give away information if the source is a trusted one and you are sure that no mishaps will occur.

1 comment:

Bernz said...

Great tips! Let me just add a couple of things: Lock your mailbox because a lot of our letters that banks send us contains delicate information, or if you're expecting a letter and it was delayed, report it immediately because they may be diverted to another person. Laptops and computers which contain classified information should always be secure. And as much as possible, if you can help it, don't make transactions online. There are a lot of fake websites out there.

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