Identity theft and fraud are on the rise. Are you covered?
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft was the #1 source of consumer complaints received by the agency in 2020. Identity theft is big business. If it happens to you, it can cost you not only aggravation and inconvenience, but money too!
The Insurance Information Institute (III) offers some tips to help prevent identity theft. Be especially careful when . . .
- Shopping online. Use only secure sites and reputable retailers.
- Throwing away trash. Shred bills and documents that include any of your personal or identifying information, such as your social security or account numbers.
- Making purchases. Never throw away your sales receipts in public trash cans; always ask for a receipt for items purchased with a bank or credit card.
- Traveling. Only carry the bank and credit cards that you absolutely need when traveling. Be sure to keep a copy of your account numbers and contact information for your bank and credit card companies in a safe place in case you need to report a lost or stolen card.
- Selecting passwords. Do not use easily accessed names or numbers, such as your mother’s maiden name or part of your address or social security number, in your passwords. Use two-factor authentication when the option is available.
For more tips on preventing identity theft and fraud, be sure to check out the FTC’s identity theft website for consumers, which includes videos, publications, and an online “test your knowledge…” quiz.