Having your identity stolen and used to commit fraud is a very difficult situation to deal with. It is violating, hurtful and very serious. Not only does it cause an immense amount of work for you, but it also takes time to fully recover.
For those who have gone through it, they understand the stress and aggravation it causes. They would agree that, taking some pre-emptive steps to avoid identity theft would be definitely worth it.
Here we share some ideas on what you can do to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft:
Watch Your Wallet
It’s surprising to learn just how quickly identity theft can happen. In some cases, it can happen right under your nose without you even realizing. Be sure to always keep an eye on your wallet and know where it is at all times. Never leave it sitting out on a desk or table.
Protect Your PIN
Once someone other than yourself knows your PIN, they have access to your bank account. Never write your PIN down and keep it in your wallet or with your debit/credit cards.
Keep Your Social Security Card at Home
Do not carry your SSN card with you in your wallet. Also, be sure you never give it out or write it down unless absolutely necessary. Some people have been in the habit of writing their SSN on checks…we strongly advise against this.
Pay Close Attention to Bill Cycles
One of the most common things identity thieves do is use your personal information to call in and make changes with your creditors. Be sure to keep track of bill cycles and recognize if certain bills are late. If they are, be sure to contact the sender immediately.
Keep Records in Safe Places
When it comes to keeping track of bank accounts, receipts or any other important financial documentation, be sure to keep it in a safe place. Choose a low traffic or hidden place in your home.
Check Your Credit Score
Credit reports are sometimes the first place people realize that they may be victims of identity theft. The thief might steal your identity and then open a line of credit in your name without you knowing. A credit report will help you identify anything suspicious.
For small businesses, protection from identity theft is even more crucial. One bad experience can put your business under quickly. For more advice on protecting your business, call Hacker Accounting at 602-375-5251.