Straight Talk: BBB offers tips to prevent identity theft
Great information, but has anyone out there tried to do it alone? There are actually 12 steps if you are victimized. Whether with IDShield or some other service, it is important to have some sort of monitoring. Especially with the recent Yahoo breach – 500 MILLION accounts stolen.
"The Canton Regional and Greater West Virginia Better Business Bureau offers tips and advice for consumers to avoid fraudulent practices.
• Today's topic: How to stop identity theft
• The concern: Identity (ID) theft is a crime where a thief steals your personal information, such as your full name or Social Security number to commit fraud. The identity thief can use your information to fraudulently apply for credit, file taxes or get medical services. These acts can damage your credit status and cost you time and money to restore your good name. You may not know that you are the victim of ID theft until you experience a financial consequence (mystery bills, credit collections, denied loans) down the road from actions that the thief has taken with your stolen identity.
• Ways to prevent identity theft:
Secure your Social Security number. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your number on your checks. Only give out your Social Security number when absolutely necessary.
Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birth date, Social Security number, or bank account number) by phone, mail or online.
Watch out for "shoulder surfers." Shield the keypad when typing your passwords on computers and at ATMs.
Collect mail promptly. Ask the post office to put your mail on hold when you are away from home.
Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
Review your receipts. Ask for carbon copies and incorrect charge slips as well. Promptly compare receipts with account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions.
Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements and expired cards to prevent “dumpster divers” from getting your personal information.
Store personal information in a safe place at home and at work.
Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
Create complex passwords that identity thieves cannot guess easily. Change your passwords if a company that you do business with has a breach of its databases.
Order your credit report at annualcreditreport.com once a year and review to be certain that it doesn't include accounts that you have not opened. Check it more frequently if you suspect someone has gained access to your account information.
For more information: Visit bbb.org/canton to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam with Scam Tracker, read tips, follow us on social media and more.”
I Don't Want To Spend This Much Time On Identity Theft Protection. How About You? Check out six short videos to learn more here about LegalShield.
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