Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prevent Identity Theft With These 8 Steps

By Harvey Warmuth

1. Issuing personal checks to unfamiliar people is a no-no. Instead, give them cash, issue a bank draft or money order. Even if online banking is something which you never did, any person can obtain funds on the Internet coming from any of your accounts.

2. Before getting rid of your bank statements, you should be aware of this - identity thieves cannot get inside your bedroom or office. Instead, they rummage your garbage cans for important information and most of the time, they discover what they are looking for, so purchase a paper shredding machine.

3. Take advantage of online statements. Most of the banks send statements by snail mail and they would not be able to guarantee that it will get to you unopened. Remember that it contains a lot of your bank information.

4. Credit card companies usually send promotional checks through regular mail. Take note that these checks are effortless to cash. Tell the creditors to refrain from delivering these types of checks to you.

5. Even if your credit card has already expired, creditors will send you a new one with the same credit card number. What changes is only the expiry date. If the credit card is swiped somewhere, it will not work, but if it is an online transaction, only the credit card number is needed, as well as the cardholder's name.

6. Always put your signature at the back of your debit or credit card. Cashiers usually compare the signature that is on the card panel with your signature on the receipt. This happens every time you make a large purchase and if there is no signature at the back, there may be a possibility of unauthorized card utilization.

7. Credit offer mailings that are pre-approved are dangerous just like credit card and bank statements. It is simple for a perpetrator to pull credit using your name and those offers. Just like with your other financial documents, pre-approved offer mailings must be dealt with the same way.

8. Avoid the use of public computers in all places because hackers can have easy access to your private information. You can apply for a credit card or get into your financial accounts online when you are at home. Furthermore, remember to clear stored cookies prior to logging out.

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