We work hard for our money. Losing it to identity theft or consumer fraud is always disappointing. Here are some ways you can protect yourself:
- Guard personal information and PINS. Carefully guard all of your personal information, social security number, bank account numbers, personal identification numbers, etc.
- Shred mail and documents. Dumpster diving can give thieves access to bank statements, credit card statements, health insurance numbers, pre-approved credit card offers, and other personal information.
- Shop at reputable businesses. Whether in-person or online, one of the best ways to be sure you won't be swindled is to shop at businesses you know are legitimate.
- Keep devices secure. Do you shop or bank online? Have you used a mobile app to check your account balance? Do you receive email messages from your credit card company? Keep virus software up to date. Log-out of accounts, exit websites and close apps as soon as you're finished. Password protect your phone, tablet, or computer.
- Limit the cards you carry. You'll have less to lose if your purse or wallet is stolen. Thieves will have fewer ways to make charges. It's easier to contact companies and stop transactions on only one or two cards than on six or eight cards. Carry only the cards you need and leave the others at home.