Six Things you should know about avoiding identity theft
- At less than $200, a paper shredder should be as
common in today's household as a microwave. Shred personalized junk
mail, ABM deposit and withdrawal slips, old bank statements and other
documents before throwing them into the recycling bin.
- Reconcile bank statements and match credit-card
purchases with your monthly statement. Often, identity thieves thrive because
people don't notice small purchases or other anomalies on their statements.
A $10 purchase might slip through, but if 1,000 people had the same $10
purchase, that's $10,000.
- Pay attention if a monthly statement or document
you're expecting in the mail goes missing. Somebody looking to
impersonate might redirect some of your mail or lift it from your mailbox.
- Be wary of telemarketers, Web sites an de-mail
messages that ask for personal information. Verify whether the company's
legitimate. Ask why this information is needed. You can say no.
The burden of proof is on them, not you. The same goes for job
applications employers need your SIN only after you're hired.
- Have a separate credit card with a preset spending
limit, say $500, that's used for Internet transactions only. Have an
e-mail account set up specifically for registering for a service or buying an
- Act quickly if you think you're a victim of identity
theft. You can start by contacting Phonebusters.com on the Web or
calling them at 1-888-495-8501.