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Preventing Identity Theft

DO:

  • Protect your mail by removing it from your mailbox as soon as possible.
     

  • Buy a shredder.  It is a small price to pay for protecting your identity and financial information.
     

  • Shred all paperwork with any personally identifying information, especially documents with your Social Security number and/or date of birth.  Shred all receipts containing credit card numbers, banking information, credit card offers or any other financial documents.
     

  • Protect your wallet/purse.  Never leave them unattended.
     

  • Carefully review your monthly statements from financial institutions looking for irregularities or fraudulent activity.
     

  • There are many services that will monitor your credit and notify you of unusual or suspicious activity.  There is a fee for these services, but they may save you from headaches later.
     

  • Be careful when making purchases or sending information over the Internet.  Ensure that the website you are sending information to is secure and uses up to date encryption methods.

DONíT :

  • Give out personal information in response to unsolicited offers by phone, mail, Internet or in person.
     
  • DO NOT use your Social Security number unless you have to.  The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will assign you a random license number in lieu of using your Social Security number.
     
  • Do not fill out warranty cards for items you purchased or enter sweepstakes.  Such information is often sold to others as a marketing tool.
     
  • Personal identifiers, account numbers, and other private information should never be provided to someone unless you can ensure the information will be secure.  Know the person or company to whom you gave information and ask what the person or company will do with the information.
     
   

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Last modified: December 24, 2009