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Prevent Becoming a Victim of Identity Fraud

Identity fraud is a serious crime that can leave you financially devastated for years. Even though the thief may have been caught and his or her spending spree put to an end, most people who have been a victim of identity fraud find that it still haunts them for years to come when applying for new loans or lines of credit. To keep yourself from falling victim, take a few precautionary steps.

  • Shred your documents. Don’t just throw away your receipts, utility bills, credit card offers, and bank statements. Each of these can be used as tool by the identity thief to steal your identity. Shred these items before throwing them away or, if possible, burn them.
  • Report your lost card immediately. If your card becomes lost or stolen, reporting it right away is crucial. The company can then put a freeze on your account and prevent the thief from causing further damage.
  • Check your statements. Although it is a time consuming task, check your credit card statements against your monthly receipts. If you notice anything suspicious, contact the credit card company right away.
  • Deal only with reputable merchants. This rule of thumb is particularly important on the Internet where you can never be sure who you are really dealing with. Only make transactions with companies you know to be reputable.

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