Don’t let the excitement of the holiday season make you vulnerable to theft this holiday season. Here are some tips to help you avoid identity theft and protecting your home.
Deter thieves by safeguarding your personal information
○ Make sure you shred any financial documents and paperwork before you throw them out.
○ Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through email or mail unless you know who it is you are working with
○ Don’t carry around your Social Security card or write it on your checks.
○ Keep copies of your receipts when purchasing gifts.
○ Never tell anyone your PIN for the ATM and don’t write it down on your card!
○ To be extra cautious you can always sign up for a credit monitoring service so you can view changes that occur on your credit report.
Protect your home from potential criminals
○ Be cautious about locking the doors and windows to your house. Also don’t forget to lock your garages and sheds.
○ If leaving for an extended period of time, make sure your neighbors have a key to your place and pick up your mail (if you don’t already have it held at the Post Office)
○ Have lights set up to be on automatic timers.
○ Don’t hide spare keys near your door (i.e. under the rug, above the door, under a rock, etc.) Burglars know this trick!
○ And don’t leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages. (Like they did in Home Alone) It just lets whomever (even telemarketers) know that you will not be home for a certain period of time.
Make sure you are safe this holiday season by protecting against identity theft and other holiday crime.
Source: Federal Trade Commission