PAPERS: Shred all documents containing your personal information.
STATEMENTS: Switch to electronic statements to reduce the risk of having documents containing personal information stolen from your mailbox.
CREDIT REPORT: Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to check your credit report for discrepancies [at least once a year].
PINs: Memorize your PIN. When using your debit card at an ATM, cover the keypad and keep an eye on the mirror to make sure no one is watching you.
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER: Only provide your social security number (SSN) when it’s absolutely necessary for a transaction. Mortgage and loan credit checks require you to provide your SSN. For all other transactions, unless it’s absolutely required, keep your SSN to yourself.
RESEARCH: Get references or verification from online listings before you provide your personal information. Ask about what each transaction entails so you know what to expect.
FILES: Keep copies of every document you are required to complete. Lock them in a safe or secure them digitally with passwords.
ALERTS: Notify a consumer reporting agency the moment you suspect something is amiss. TransUnion, Equifax and Experian can place fraud alerts on your credit report. If you aren’t sure, report your suspicions anyway – it is better to be safe than sorry.
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