here are just a few tips to avoid identity theft...
- Watch your back in line at the grocery or discount store. The thief may appear to be looking at his phone but he's actually taking a picture or video of you using your card and entering your pin number.
- Don't put outgoing mail in your mailbox. The red flag standing up on the side of a mailbox tells the thief that there may be checks or bills and other important mail there. This happened to my friend just down the street from me.
- Check your bank and credit card balances at least once a week. A thief can do a lot of damage before you notice it a month later.
- If a bill doesn't show up when it is supposed to it might be a sign that your mail has been stolen. You might want to go paperless or get a PO box for certain things, or all, of your mail.
- Thieves have been known to drive through neighborhoods at 3-4 in the morning taking your garbage then sorting it later at their home to find a treasure of your personal information. Always shred important info with a top quality shredder.
- Never throw away pre-approved credit applications, old bills, expired credit cards, deposit slips, or any kind of application with personal information on it. Shred, shred, shred. For a credit card, I cut it into 5-7 pieces and place each piece in a different trash can. Not all of my trash cans get emptied at the same time.
- If you see something that looks like it doesn't belong on the ATM or gas pump, or seems to stick out from the card slot, walk away. It might be a skimmer.
- Call 888-5-OPTOUT to stop banks from sending you pre-approved credit offers. This is way too easy for a thief who can write out one of those checks and it will be awhile before you ever know it.