Of course, not all identity theft is tied to online activities. Thieves can learn a lot about you and your identity by going stealing your wallet, purse, and even through your trash bin. There are plenty of resources out there for criminals to use.
There are a lot of steps you can use to help protect yourself including:
- Stopping mail and paper delivery when you go away.
- Shredding important documents (including things with your address on it), old credit cards and other digital media with sensitive info on it (like CD's and DVD's).
- Making sure you're on a web page that is secure (i.e., encrypted) before giving out your credit card information.
- Check your credit card statements every month.
- Avoid phishing scams.
If you or somebody you know should have their identity stolen, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can call them at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) or visit the FTC's Identity Theft web site.
In fact, it's a good idea to visit the FTC Identity Theft web site now to check out all the resources available on the site. Be sure to share this information with family and friends too!
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