Identity Theft Prevention Tips

  • Do not give personal information, such as account numbers or social security numbers, over the telephone, through the mail, or over the Internet, unless you initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing.
  • Take your social security number off your Driver's license and checks.
  • Cancel and cut up unused or "extra" credit cards.
  • Check account statements carefully to ensure all charges, checks, or withdrawals were authorized.
  • Watch your phone bill, cable bill, internet bill, etc., for any increase in charges.
  • Pay attention to billing cycles and statements.
  • Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office instead of your home.
  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.
  • Keep important documents, (passport, birth certificate, stocks, savings accounts), locked in a safe or file drawer, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having service work done on your home.
  • Shred old bank and credit card statements, checks and bank statements, expired charge cards that you're discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail. Making sure account numbers, passwords, and addresses are unreadable before discarding.
  • Keep a written record or photo copy (locked away) of the contents of your wallet or purse. Don't carry your wallet with you when it is not necessary.
  • Create passwords that make sense to you but are not the usual birth date, anniversary, pet or maiden name.
  • Use only web sites that are encrypted and secure and have a privacy policy—before you type in your credit card number.
  • Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work.
  • Pick up check orders at the bank.
  • Never leave transaction receipts at ATM machines, on counters at financial institutions, or at gasoline pumps.
  • Order copies of your credit report. Get a FREE copy of your credit report (once per year).
  • Automatic log-ons (where the computer automatically remembers your user identification and password) increases the risk of unauthorized users gaining access to your accounts. We recommend against the use of the pre-populated function for your user identification and password.

Click here to see how American Trust's ID TheftSmart products can help protect you.