Preventing Fraud & Identity Theft
Do's & Don'ts
- Do shred all credit card offers and statements before putting them in the trash. Simply tearing the letter into a few pieces does not always work.
- Don't print your social security number on your checks.
- Do keep a list of your credit card and bank account numbers and phone numbers in a safe place so if your purse/wallet is stolen you can immediately call them. The faster you act, the quicker the thief is blocked.
- Don't keep your PIN in the same place as your credit cards and/or ATM cards.
- Do bank online if possible. It's easier and, so far, it's proven safer.
- Don't ever respond to an email claiming to be from your bank that wants you to enter your account number or any credit card numbers.
- If you take part in online auctions, do keep all emails verifying your payment and all communications from the seller until the deal is complete and you are satisfied with the item. Use Paypal when available. Paypal is very buyer friendly when it comes to resolving disputes.
- Don't respond to an email that claims to be from your internet service provider asking you to resubmit or verify your credit card information.
- When you go away, do be sure to have the post office put a hold on your mail and have your newspaper held.
- Don't leave mail in your mail box for pick-up and be sure to check your mail regularly.
- If a telemarketer calls and says you have won a prize but you need to pay the taxes on it, the shipping fees to send it, or the insurance to cover sending it - do hang up - it is a scam. Always get the name and extension or employee number of the telemarketer that you are talking to - especially if you plan to purchase something.
- For work on your home or yard, do find a reputable company. Check their claims of licenses and certifications and ask for references and check them. If they refuse to provide references, Don't use them.
- Before you give a repairman any money, do check him out thoroughly. Get a written contract before you pay a deposit or advance. Always get an estimate from another licensed contractor before signing a contract.
- Do get to know the person who organizes your neighborhood watch program. Call him/her if you suspect anything suspicious. Many times he/she will already know about potential scams in the area.