Protecting your Identity
Keep your confidential information private. Your bank or credit card company WILL NOT call or e-mail you to ask for your account information, they already have it.
Keep an inventory of everything in your wallet and PDA, including account numbers. Do not keep your social security card in your wallet. By the way, don’t keep this list in your wallet.
Go paperless on your bank account and credit card statement, no mail statements.
Monitor your accounts on line weekly for unauthorized transactions. Most thieves will start small to see if you will notice, pay attention.
If you conduct business on line, be sure to only use your own computer, you never know what protections are on friends or on public computers. (Library, Hotel, etc.)
Look for suspicious devises, do not let anyone stand near you when using an ATM, be sure to take you receipt and card when you leave the machine ands keep your pin number in your head, not your wallet with the card.
Do not store credit card numbers or passwords on your cell phone.
Do not keep passwords, tax returns or other financial information on your hard drive; do not send user name and passwords to anyone via e-mail.
I’ve been hit, what do I do now? A few important steps to follow, among others.
Place a “Fraud Alert” with the three major credit bureaus. When you place an alert you are entitled a free copy of your credit report. Take advantage of your right to a free credit report annually.
Make an identity theft report to the police and get a copy. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and if possible file a report with your state’s attorney generals office.
Close all accounts that have been tampered with. Contact each company by phone and follow with a certified letter. Be sure that the unauthorized charges have been reversed and document EVERY call, conversation. Get names, time and date of the communication.
Any questions can be directed to Benchmark Title at 618-239-3750. Please feel free to call or email:
Dates to Remember
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