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Financial Education
Protect yourself from identity theft.
Do's and Don'ts to keep your information secure.
These days everyone has heard of identity theft. Unfortunately, it is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Skilled thieves use a variety of methods to gain access to your sensitive data, including everything from stealing your mail to rummaging through your trash. Use these do's and don'ts to keep your information secure and prevent this crime.

Do:

  • Shred all documents containing personal and financial information before throwing away. Using eStatements from Veridian archives digital copies of your statements.
  • Be cautious when entering your PIN to make sure no one is looking over your shoulder
  • Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately
  • Sign the back of your card as soon as you receive it
  • Check your receipts against your monthly statement
  • Cancel credit cards that you do not use
  • Check your credit report annually for suspicious activity

Don't:

  • Keep your social security card, passwords, or other sensitive information in your wallet or purse
  • Give sensitive information over the phone unless you have initiated the call and you are sure the business you called is reputable
  • Leave your receipts anywhere -- take them home to shred and dispose
  • Disclose sensitive information online unless you have confirmed a secured, encrypted connection
  • Leave credit card payments or checks in your home mailbox for postal pickup. Using Veridian's Bill Payment service eliminates this risk.

If you are a victim of identity theft, you should:

  1. Contact the three national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to request copies of your credit reports. Credit bureaus are required to provide free copies of credit reports to identity theft victims. You may also report your suspicion of identity theft and request a "fraud alert."
  2. File a report with the police. Keep a copy of the police report for your records.
  3. Contact your creditors, credit card companies, utilities, and financial institutions to report the identity theft.
  4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) You can contact them at 877-ID-THEFT.
  5. Consider Identity Theft Protection.

Are you in danger of becoming an identity theft victim? Find out by taking Balance Financial Fitness's Identity Theft Risk Assessment, brought to you by Veridian.