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Identity Theft & Fraud

Preventing identity theft and fraud has become one of the most important steps that needs to be taken and literally on a daily basis. Though thought of as occurring with technology and the internet, it is your everyday activities that can leave you vulnerable.


Practice Safe Internet Use

  • Keep your PC and device software updated.
  • When you leave your PC or your home, LOCK the screen.
  • KNOW where your mobile devices are at, utilize the screen locking features.
  • Secure your internet equipment with complex passwords.

Destroy It!

Much today is done electronically but there is quite a lot still done with paper!

  • Keep paper receipts in a safe area. In most situations, the receipt is necessary to perform a return.
  • Get a shredder and USE it! Place a shred bin where it is easy to put items in.
  • You have ‘old’ items, ie: bank or other statements, tax documents, etc. Do not just place it in the trash even if the account is closed--SHRED!!
  • Is that mail really just “junk” look it over for information important.
  • Cards - expired or on closed accounts, destroy them. If your shredder is not designed to handle cards, cut them up with scissors more than once and throw the pieces away at different times.
  • Keys for locks, not sure what they go to, gather them up and store them in a hidden place. If you have not needed it for several years, then get rid of them. (Bend the key or file the “bumps” before disposing)


People of any age are vulnerable!!

  • Stay on the alert. They are like fragrances, they vary but are designed to attract you!!
  • They are looking for information, name, account numbers, dates, on and on!!
  • Keep alert of other family members, young and elderly!!

copy, Copy, COPY!

Make and keep updated copies (of the front and back of the cards you use, (debit, Credit, Insurance, etc.) and keep current copies of statements. There is likely information on the cards statements you can use in case it is stolen.

Mail & Pamphlets

Collect your mail every day. If you are away from your home for several days, stop the mail or ask a neighbor to collect the mail and other items left by solicitors.

Safe Deposit Box or/and in Home Safes

  • Safe deposit boxes are very inexpensive when compared to what the value is of what they may contain. They are highly secure but there are limited hours you can access them. (Just because a person has the key, does not simply allow access, banks are required to identify who is attempting to access the box.)
  • An in-home safe (valuables, gun). They are good investment. Be sure you have them secured so they can’t just be carried away.

Credit Reports

  • Most credit reporting companies allow you a free report once a year; a good measure is to get a copy.
  • Freeze the credit reporting account. This can stop a good portion of the fraudulent accounts being opened in your name, but it could hamper you getting immediate credit to open an account at a retailer.

Security Systems

Investigate choices. There is usually an annual or monthly cost for monitoring. They usually connect to a monitoring center—how is this done? Is it possible that the method of communication could be cut prior break-in. Codes to the system, know who has one.

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