Scams to Steal Your Identity Tips

  • NEVER give out account numbers or personal information over the phone or via email unless YOU initiated the call. 
  • NEVER send personal information via e-mail. E-mail is not secure. Financial institutions and government will never request personal information via email. 
  • Be careful when you shop online.
    • Only do business with reputable companies or people you trust.
    • Make sure there is a padlock symbol.
    • Make sure address starts with “https”.
    • Always log out of a secure site instead of just closing the window. 
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card with you. Keep it in a secure location. 
  • Do not imprint or write your social security number, driver’s license number or credit card number on your checks. If a merchant asks you to do this, ask them
    • Why they need it
    • If there’s an alternative to doing so
    • What the consequences would be if you don’t do this 
  • Don’t mail payments or any other documents containing personal information from your mailbox. 
  • Use e-statements to reduce the chance of a thief taking your bank statement. An e-statement is e-mailed directly to you and requires two passwords to read it. 
  • Shred any paper that has any type of personal information on it. This includes credit card offers, bank statements and bills. 
  • Don’t set common PINs or passwords. This includes birth dates, social security number, phone number, maiden name, etc. 
  • Don’t use the same PIN or password for everything. 
  • NEVER write your PIN on your debit card or anywhere in your wallet or your passwords next to your computer. 
  • Put “See ID” on the back of debit and/or credit cards. 
  • Get a photo debit card. 
  • Review bank statements and credit card statements as soon as you receive them. Check for any unauthorized charges and discrepancies. 
  • Get Internet Banking so you can review your accounts whenever you’d like and as often as you’d like. 
  • Annually get your free credit reports from the three major credit bureaus.
    • Go to www.annualcreditreport.com.
    • Call 1 (877) 322-8228.
    • Spread them out. For example, get Equifax in January, Experian in May and TransUnion in September to monitor throughout the year.
  • Opt out of unsolicited direct mail and telemarketing offers.