Thought for Monday ~ Deterring Identity Theft

A friend shared a story with today about a wallet that had been turned in at her store. Their was no driver's license to help them locate the owner, but it did have the person's Social Security Card, a few credit cards, and some bank information, including routing and passcodes. Using the name from the social security card, my friend was able to find the person in the phone book to reunite her with the wallet.

Good thing a caring consumer turned the wallet in, it was an identity thieves dream! According to the Federal Trade Commission over 500,000 Americans will fall victim to identity theft each year, and each one of these victims will spend countless hours fixing the damage.

Here's a few precautions you should take to minimize your risk of identity theft, should your possessions fall into the wrong hands:

1) Keep your social security card in a lock box, vault, or another private and secure place. Do not carry it with you. Rather, memorize the number in the event you should need it.

2) The same goes for bank passwords, ATM codes, birth certificates, and other important documentation. It's worth it to memorize as much as possible.

3) Make photo copies of every ID and Credit Card in your wallet, front and back sides. Keep the copies in a safe place. This way you will have easy reference to contact companies to cancel and replace the information you are missing.

4) Limit the number of credit cards you are carrying. If you aren't using it regularly, remove it from your wallet and store in a safe place, or consider canceling your account.

A few simple steps of precaution can really make a difference!

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