Posted by Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency on
Here are some key pointers to as how you can reduce your risk.
- Minimize the number of credit and debit cards you use. Only carry one or two at a given time.
- Cancel unused accounts. They provide additional targets for identity thieves. However, be aware that canceling credit cards may affect your credit score adversely.
- Check your mail. If you expect a new or reissued credit or debit card and it doesn’t show up on time, contact the issuer immediately.
- Check your credit reports. Do this at least twice a year. Ask for a 3-in-1, merged credit report with a summary from all three credit bureaus. Under the federal FACT Act, consumers are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the major agencies. For details, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877.322.8228.
- Enroll in credit monitoring. This will monitor the activity on your cards as well as notify you of any suspicious activity.
- Enroll in fraud monitoring. This will alert you of any attempts to alter or acquire your identity data.
- Each month carefully review all of your financial statements. This includes any and all bank statements, credit card statements and phone bills (including mobile) for unauthorized use.
- Keep a list. Make photocopies of all credit cards, bank accounts and investment accounts and put them in a secure place. DO NOT PUT THIS IN A WALLET OR PURSE!! Include the account numbers, phone numbers of the customer service departments and the fraudulent departments. You will be able to contact them quickly if cards are stolen or accounts are abused.
- Avoid using a PIN. Try to avoid this when you are traveling or in a place that you are not familiar with the surroundings or personnel.
- Use a credit card. In a situation when you are with unfamiliar merchants for it is a better protection.