And A Few Tips on How to Stop It
A thief may search your mailbox.
- Don’t use your own mailbox to send mail.
- Take mail to the post office or a secured mailbox.
A thief may go through your trash for pre-approved credit offers, receipts, and similar documents.
- Tear things up, use a shredder.
- Make sure your papers are put out shortly before pickup.
A thief may forge a change of address form to redirect your mail.
- If your mail stops suddenly, ask your local post office.
- If you don’t get a regular bill, call the creditor to find out if someone changed your address.
Thieves can claim to be a landlord or employer and ask for a credit report.
- If you see a suspicious request on your credit report, you can report it after it happens.
Personal information can be stolen by thieves or burglars or found on the Internet.
- If something is stolen, report it immediately.
- Keep as few cards and notes in your wallet as possible.
- Put your personal information in a safe place.
Thieves can contact you by phone or e-mail, claim to be a real business, and ask for information.
- Never give out your credit card number or Social Security Number over the phone or by e-mail unless you are absolutely certain the person you are giving it to is who they say they are.
- Always make sure you know how personal information you give out will be used.
- Don’t trust unsolicited e-mail.
- Compare the full set of headers on unsolicited e-mails to see if it matches the sender’s address.
Computers and hard drives can be hacked or stolen and searched for personal or payroll information.
- Use passwords to protect your information, and make it something that can be memorized but can’t be easily guessed.
- The longer the password, the harder it is to crack.
- Use a good firewall and good anti-spyware and antivirus software to guard against hackers.
- When sending personal information on the Internet, check that your browser shows a closed “lock” icon and that the URL you are sending it to begins with https:// – the “s” means secure.
Sometimes a cashier or other person you deal with may steal information.
- Limit the information you have printed on checks.
- Never use your Social Security number for identification.