Credit and Bankruptcy Law
How can you protect yourself from identity thieves?
You have to jealously guard your personally identifiable information. This includes your social security number, your credit card numbers, and your bank account numbers. Do not allow people untrammeled access to your personal computer, as that might become a classic gateway for the predatory identity thief. Realize that some identity thieves are relentless in their quest for other people’s personally identifiable information. When you throw away credit card receipts and bank receipts, make sure that they are fully shredded. Some identity thieves even “dumpster dive” (actually physically go through other people’s trash) to find key information.
Another tip is to ask why someone needs your social security number. Someone could be asking for an improper purpose. Another safety measure is to follow up if you don’t receive a monthly bill from a creditor. While a natural impulse may be to not worry about receiving a bill, it could signify an attempted account takeover by an identity thief who has made a fraudulent change-of-address to take over your account.
Also, never keep your account passwords and pin numbers written down near your actual cards. That may be the ultimate faux pas. Don’t make it easy for identity thieves.