How to not become a victim of identity theft

Beware of the location of personal information

Here are some tips from Crime Stoppers published May 13, 2013

An estimated 10 million people each year become victims of identity theft. There are things each of us can do to help prevent becoming one.

  • Try not to leave mail in your mailbox for long.
  • When sending mail out that contains any kind of account information, it’s best to drop it off directly into a postal box rather than leave it in your mailbox for your carrier.
  • Pay attention to when your regular bills or account statements are due to arrive and follow up if they are late. Thieves have been known to submit “change of address” forms to divert mailings. Your account information, including utilities, can then be used to set up phony accounts in your name or run up charges.
  • Virtually any document containing more personal identifiers than your name and address can be used by an identity thief and should be shredded. It can be stolen from your purse or wallet, your trash or even your home.
  • Be mindful of where you place bank and credit card statements within your residence if you employ outside help or are having work done inside.
  • When you are required or asked by a company to provide your Social Insurance number, don’t be afraid to ask why they need it and what their policy is to protect it. Businesses are required by law to properly dispose of your personal information.

For more information, visit MichianaCrimeStoppers.com

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