Top ten ID theft safety tips from the experts

By the time you finish reading these tips, another 100 American identities will be stolen. ID theft tops the list of consumer complaints at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It has become so prevalent that consumers are increasingly subscribing to ID theft protection services.

1. Shred documents with personal information before you discard them.
2. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or give out your number unless absolutely necessary.
3. Don’t give out personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you know and trust who you are dealing with.
4. Keep your personal information in a secure place at home.
5. Inspect your credit report regularly.
6. Monitor your monthly statements for charges you didn’t make.
7. Check with the company if you get a surprise bill or if you were denied credit for no apparent reason.
8. If you suspect identity theft, place a “fraud alert” on your credit reports.
9. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.
10. If your identity is stolen, file a police report because creditors may want proof of the crime.

These tips are recommended by

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