How To Protect Yourself

Personal Information

  • Ask your bank, doctor’s office, other businesses and your employer if they
    protect your personal information.
  • Never carry your Social Security card, Social Security number, birth certificate or passport unless necessary.
  • Do not put your address, telephone number or driver’s license number on a credit card sales receipt.
  • Social Security numbers or phone numbers should not be put on checks.
  • Identifying information should not be given over the phone or the Internet to someone you do not know or on a cellular or cordless phone.
  • Shred all personal documents before placing them in the trash!
  • If your state uses your Social Security number as your driver’s license number, ask for another number.

Financial Information

  • Get a credit report from the three national credit reporting agencies every year.
  • Keep your financial records out of sight. Burglars are just as interested in credit cards, bank accounts and investment statements as they are in your jewelry and other valuables.
  • Check monthly credit card statements for charges you did not make. If monthly statements do not arrive in the mail call the lender immediately.
  • Keep a list, in a safe place, of all credit cards and bank accounts including the account numbers, phone numbers and expiration dates. Check if your online purchase is processed on a secure server.
  • Shred financial or confidential information such as credit card pre-approvals, credit card receipts, etc.
  • If you have credit cards you do not use, store them in a safe place. Cancel the accounts if you will not use them again. Cut up old credit cards before discarding.
  • Carry only the credit cards you plan to use.
  • When you have applied for a new credit card, keep your eye on the mail and the calendar. If the card does not arrive within the appropriate time, call the credit card company.
  • Do not use your mother’s maiden name as a password for accounts. Make one up.
  • Unless your mailbox is secure, mail payments at the post office and pick up new checks at your bank.
  • If you are not interested in pre-approved credit offers, opt-out using the telephone number in our resource section.