It was about 11:30 p.m. last night when I noticed a guy walking up and down the street outside of my friends New York City Restaurant and I can tell something was off with this guy. We were all there celebrating my good friends birthday. The restaurant was starting to die down and we were all enjoying the rest of our wine and just kept talking and then we noticed the police rushing and storming up from every angle outside.
After all the commotion one of the police officers and another man who we later found out was a well known private investigator in New York City came into the restaurant and explained the situation. Apparently the strange guy walking around outside has been under watch for ATM scams and Identity fraud. We actually got a wealth of knowledge on how to avoid identity fraud and the PI also shared a video showing how some of these crooks are pulling off ATM scams. Watch this video below. I also put a list of tips below that the private investigator mentioned when it comes to protecting your identity.
5 Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft
Security is important for everyone today, as personal information is easily collected by a determined thief who, unlike days past, can assume your identity from right in front of you or half a world away. With proper diligence, you can reduce the chance of someone stealing your identity and ruining your credit, or worse. The tips in this article will assist you.
- Keep your social security card in a locked safe in your home.
Only carry it on you when you must take the original somewhere, and promptly return it when you are finished with your business. Do not supply it on your checks or to anyone unless it is legitimate and vital to the business being done, such as opening a bank account.
- You should never give out your personal information to anyone.
Whether it is a phone call, email or snail mail, unsolicited requests that require you to enter information about your banking or other personal data should never be given out, even if the person claims to be from a reputable institution. If the person seems insistent, offer to call them back through the company. A real employee will not mind and a scam artist will disappear.
Keep your other hand over the one entering your password to keep others from being able to get the information. You can cover the digits on the card with the hand sliding it through the machine and use a secured wallet if you want. These steps will make it more difficult for someone to obtain the information and make charges to your account with an online vendor. Photo Source: FoxNews.com
- Make sure that you have firewalls and virus protection for your computer.
Review several to ensure that you are getting the best quality and latest edition for maximum security.
Also, you should run a free credit check on yourself once each year. The three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, will each provide an annual report for free. You can check it for any discrepancies and discover any charges or bills that are not yours.
These five things are all easy to do, and can save you time, money and headaches down the road. By taking preventative measures and following through with regular checks, you can minimize your risk of identity theft.