Financial Success - Avoid Identity Theft

Notepad next to a pen. The notepad reads "Beware of Fakes and Scammers."

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft with These Tips

Having your identity stolen can majorly disrupt your life. But by taking these simple precautions, you can protect your information and reduce the risk of identity theft:

  • Practice internet safety. Online scammers have countless strategies for stealing personal information. Always be mindful while you’re online:

    • Stay away from public Wi-Fi
    • Create strong passwords, and store them in a secure online password manager
    • Never click on suspicious links sent to you from an unknown email address
    • Never give personal information to anyone you don’t know over the phone or internet

  • Watch out for AI deepfakes. Fraudsters can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to impersonate trusted friends and family, customer service representatives, or government agencies to trick people into giving up their information. If you get a call from someone demanding money or information, hang up and call them back at a verified phone number.

  • Check your account statements often. Regularly review your bank and credit card statements to make sure there are no charges that you didn’t make.

  • Shred your documents. Criminals will dig through garbage bags to hunt for bank account information and Social Security numbers. Any documents with identifying information should be thoroughly shredded before disposal.

  • Guard your Social Security number. Social Security numbers are the gateway to all of your personal data. Store your Social Security card in a secured location – don’t carry it in your wallet. If you do need to write down or say your SSN out loud, always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep an eye on your mailbox. Criminals may root through mailboxes to steal documents that contain identifying information. Make sure to clean out your mailbox every day, or consider sending your mail to a Post Office box.