Personal finance

How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft Smart change: personal finance

Secure your social security card and other sensitive documents

Do not carry your Social Security card, birth certificate, and passport in your purse, wallet, or car unless necessary. In any case, do not leave documents unattended. At home, consider keeping documents in a safe in case there is a burglary.

Do not share sensitive information unless absolutely necessary

Do not share your social security number, debit card PINs, driver’s license, date of birth and other sensitive information through phone calls, texts, emails or of social networks. If you receive a phone call or email from a bank or other financial institution, make sure their contact details are valid before sharing any details.

For example, check the sender’s full address if you receive an email from your bank asking for information under the pretext of updating your account. A scammer’s email usually consists of a letter, number, or word that is additional to the email from the legitimate business. The body of the email may also contain typos and other grammatical errors.

If you receive this type of email, even if it looks legitimate, it is better to go directly to your account website rather than clicking on the links provided in the message.

Also, keep in mind that government agencies like the IRS, for example, will never contact you by calling or texting to request personal information or threaten legal action against you.

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