Skip to main content

The crime of identity theft has continued to grow and expand along with the development of newer technologies and consumer economic conveniences.

While the concept of identity theft has become somewhat commonplace, it is critical that individuals make their best efforts to protect their identity and to be observant for warning signs.

Most know to avoid sharing information such as social security numbers, account numbers, date of birth, etc., however, monitoring one’s credit circumstances and taking proactive measures to protect against this crime are of equal importance.

Receiving credit card statements for accounts that you are unfamiliar with could be a sign that someone has accessed your credit. Bills for items that you don’t recall purchasing warrant your immediate attention.

Denials for loans/credit, when unwarranted, may indicate the theft of your identity.

Additionally, missing mail…paper bills that seem to stop coming…need to be looked into.

Pay close attention to all charges that appear on your credit card statement. While a bit tedious, consider saving all receipts and matching them to charges on your bill.

Let’s return to the discussion of one’s mail.

A significant amount of personal information is often exchanged through the mail system and protecting that mail will go a long way toward reducing or eliminating the chance of suffering identity theft. Collect your mail every day. Know the time of day that your mail is delivered and make efforts to retrieve it in a timely manner. Often, the only mail that we send out contains checks. That red flag hoisted on your mailbox, notifying your mail carrier of outgoing mail, may serve as an invitation to criminals. Make efforts to place outgoing mail in the mailbox just before your mail carrier is scheduled to arrive or consider mailing them at the nearest post office. Of course, should you see any suspicious activity at or around your mailbox, or the mailbox of a neighbor, please notify law enforcement immediately.

Lastly, take the time to request and review your credit reports from the three major reporting agencies, Equifax (800-685-1111), Experian (888-397-3742) and TransUnion (888-909-8872).

Should any of these reports contain signs of fraud, please ask these agencies to place fraud alerts and a credit freeze on your account. A credit freeze restricts access to your account and prevents anyone from applying for credit in your name…including yourself. There is no cost or fee for this service. Should you need to apply for credit while a freeze is in place, you can request that it is temporarily lifted to allow you to do so. A credit freeze will remain in effect until you lift it.

The time that you take to protect your identity is time well spent.

‹‹ Previous Post
FWC highlights importance of Sport Fish Restoration program in new video with Mud Hole Custom Tackle 
All Posts Next Post ››
GED and ESOL Fall Registration starts FRIDAY 7/21 at 9am!