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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.

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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.


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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

About :

Assistant Vice President of Social Media for ForRent.com. Co-Author of "Youtility for Real Estate", Speaker, Perpetual Hostess, Wine Lover, Wanderlust. Find Erica on Twitter.

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