Protect Yourself From ID Theft

The information below explains how to protect yourself from Identity Theft. It's from the North Carolina Attorney General's website.

Click here for a link to the North Carolina Attorney General's website.

CARRY ONLY WHAT YOU NEED
• Limit the number of credit cards you carry.
• Don't carry your Social Security card.
• Don't carry personal identification numbers (PIN) in your wallet or purse.

PROTECT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
• Give your Social Security number (SSN) only when absolutely necessary.
• Ask why a SSN is needed, who has access to it, and how it is kept
confidential.
•Don't print your SSN & driver's license number on your checks.
• Shred old bank statements, insurance forms, credit applications, insuranceforms, etc.

FINANCES
•Watch billing cycles for missing bills. Contact your creditors if you notice that a bill is missing.
• Review monthly bills for odd charges.
• Keep copies of all credit cards (front and back) in a safe place in case of a lost or stolen card.
• Destroy receipts that show your entire credit card number. It is now illegal for a North Carolina business to print the full credit card number on the electronically generated customer's receipt.
• Review your Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement for errors in your yearly salary. To order a statement, call (800) 772-1213.
• Contact all of your financial institutions to tell them you "opt out" of
sharing your nonpublic personal information or credit report information
with other businesses.

PROTECT PASSWORDS
• Don't share PINs or passwords, even with close friends or relatives.
• Avoid using easily available information for your PINs or passwords such as your mother's maiden name, your or your family members' birth dates, your SSN, phone number or a series of consecutive numbers (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4).
• Don't use the same PIN for multiple accounts.

PROTECT YOUR MAIL
• Deposit outgoing mail into a blue postal service box instead of an unsecured mailbox.
•Don't leave incoming mail sitting in an unlocked mailbox.
• Call (888) 5-OPT-OUT to stop receiving pre-approved credit card
applications.
•Reduce commercial advertising by mail; send a letter or postcard with your first and last name, mailing address and signature to Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512. (www.dmaconsumers.org)
• Report mail fraud and theft to the postal inspector at 704-329-9120.

SOURCE: www.ncdoj.com


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