As technology advances, fraudsters and hackers have gotten more creative about how they gain access to private information. You may consider yourself to be fairly savvy about protecting yourself online, but the truth is that anyone can become a victim of identity theft at any time.
Follow these tips from Anti Fraud News to protect yourself and prevent fraud:
Destroy Personal Statements
Any time you receive a bill or bank statement, make sure you destroy it after you’ve paid it. You may want to invest in a high-quality shredder for this purpose.
Hide Your Social Security Card
Get a fireproof safe to store private documents, including your social security card. Unless you are starting a new job and need your card for tax purposes, there is no reason to ever carry it with you.
Destroy The Paper Trail
If you don’t want or need a receipt, choose the “no receipt” option at gas stations or ATMs. If a receipt is given, make sure you grab it – never leave it behind for someone else to find.
Know Who Is Asking For Your Information
Be wary any time someone calls you asking for personal financial information. If you have any reason to believe that the call is fraudulent, trust your gut – there’s no such thing as being too careful. You can always follow up with your financial institution to find out if the reason for the call was legitimate. Trusting your intuition is the most effective way to prevent fraud.
Get Your Name Off Of Marketing Lists
These marketers are pesky in more ways than one! You can put your name on a Do Not Call registry and opt out of credit card solicitations and junk mail.
Monitor Your Credit
At least once a year, take time to review your credit report to make sure all the activity is legitimate. Report any suspicious activity to your credit card company immediately. You can also sign up for credit protection services that will send you text or email alerts if your credit report suddenly changes.
Review Credit Statements Carefully
Always review your bank statements and make sure you recognize each transaction. Consider whether you actually need department store credit cards. The fewer cards you have in your name, the better.
Ignore Spam Calls
No legitimate business will require making a payment over the phone as your only option. Always treat unknown callers with a degree of skepticism. Scammers will use phone numbers that look legitimate and borrow the names of real people to try and trick you. Don’t be afraid to hang up if you feel uncomfortable.
Install Anti-Virus Software
All your electronic devices should have this. Ignore pop-up warnings from tech support companies – you’re better off taking your smartphone, laptop, or tablet to a reputable IT person.
Create Strong Passwords
Your kids’ names, pets’ names, birthdays, and even “password” are all common passwords – avoid these like the plague! Choose strong, unique passwords with a mix of capital and lowercase letters and symbols. Use a different password for different online accounts so hackers can’t access all your information at once if they guess successfully. You can check the strength of your passwords through the Federal Trade Commission.
Prevent Fraud and More in South Florida
AntiFraud News exists to keep you up to date with the latest trends in online scams, equipping you with the knowledge and tools to keep your private information private. The more you know, the better protected you will be. Check out our scam and fraud news blog to learn more and pass relevant information along to friends and family to help them be safe online as well.