Identity thieves continue to use simple, time-tested methods to steal your identity. Avoid these everyday dangers.
- Using a locking, security mailbox if possible, or consider renting a P.O. Box at your local post office.
- Put outgoing mail into a postal mailbox.
DUMPSTER DIVING (TRASH THEFT)
- Shred unwanted documents containing personal information and all unsolicited credit card or loan offers.
- Invest in a high-quality cross-cut shredder. Thieves can piece together papers shredded into horizontal strips.
“Shoulder surfers” observe your actions or eavesdrop to steal personal information. They look over your shoulder or stand close by and may use a camera phone to record you.
- Shield keypads with your hand or body before entering PINs, passwords, or card numbers.
- Avoid sharing personal information over the phone in public. If you must, use a low voice and shield you mouth.
PURSE OR WALLET SNATCHING
- Minimize what you carry in your wallet, especially payment cards.
- Never carry your Social Security card unless absolutely necessary.
- Don’t carry PINs or account passwords with you; memorize them or keep them safely locked up at home.