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Prevention Tips

  • Do not carry all of your credit cards, Social Security card, passport, and birth certificate.  Carry them only when needed.  Reduce the number of credit 
         cards you carry to a minimum. 
  • Memorize your Social Security Number, passwords and PIN numbers - do not use your date of birth, home number of last four numbers of your Social 
         Security number.
  • When you obtain a new credit card, sign it immediately and add the words, "Photo ID Required".
  • Keep your credit card in sight when it's being charged to prevent "skimming." (Skimming is when a sales clerk swipes your card through a machine 
         designed to record your credit information.  This machine is NOT the same as the machine the clerk will run it through to process your charge.)
  • Report all lost or stolen cards immediately to the credit card company, the three credit bureaus and your local police department.
  • Keep a list or photocopy of all your credit cards, bank account numbers and phone numbers of customer service and fraud departments in a secure place 
         (not in your wallet), so you can quickly contact all of the companies if cards are lost or you suspect fraudulent activity.  YOU CAN EASILY DOCUMENT 
  •  Save and match credit card receipts with monthly statements.  Check online accounts daily. 
  • If you have applied for a new credit cards and it has not arrived in a timely manner, call the financial institution involved.
  • Deposit mail in U.S. Postal Service collections boxes, rather than your own mailbox, if you are located in an area where others can access your mailbox.
  • Don't leave mail in your mailbox overnight or on weekends.
  • Shred unwanted documents with personal information including pre-approvals for credit cards received in the mail (cross cut shredder preferred).  
         Criminals can retrieve these and activate the card.
  • You can sign up for a credit monitoring service that alerts you of activity indicating possible identity theft.
  • Order and review credit reports annually from the three credit reporting agencies. 

  • Don't leave receipts behind at ATMs, on counters, at financial institutions, trash receptacles, or at gasoline pumps.
  • Memorize PIN numbers and cover the keypad with your free hand to prevent shoulder surfing.
  • Avoid ATMS that look unusual in any way - such as unusual signage, unusual devices (e.g. camera angled to record your PIN number).
  • Use different PIN numbers for each account.
  • Beware of mail, telephone, or e-mail solicitations offering prices, especially if personal information is requested.
  • Do not provide unnecessary information when ordering checks (SS number, phone number, driver's license number).
  • Do not provide information in response to emails requesting updated account information. Financial institutions will never request personal information via  
  • Install and keep anti-virus and spyware software updated.
  • When no longer needed, shred anything that has a signature, account number, Social Security number,  medical or legal information.
  • Do not leave purse, wallet, or packages in your vehicle.  Thieves are looking for credit card receipts in packages.
  • Do not leave your employer ID badge in your vehicle.
  • When traveling, use the hotel safe for any personal documents.
  • When Internet shopping, make sure the company is reputable and displays an approved security symbol.  Log out of the site when finished.
  • Never use a debit card or check card when shopping online.