A Monarch Title representative recently attended a meeting where the guest speaker was with the FBI Identity Theft Unit out of Kansas City, Missouri. He discussed many of the different way’s that criminals try and get your information as well as how to protect yourself against these threats. Listed below are some of the suggestions to assist you in reducing the chance of Identity Theft:
· Shred or burn any document that has personal information on it, never throw it in the trash.
· Use different passwords. Try not to use the same password on more than one login. Also, make sure that the password is creative, using different symbols, numbers and letters.
· Be very cautious of anyone who calls you on the phone requesting personal information. Many times people will call as a bank representative, telling the person that someone has accessed their account illegally. They then ask for the person’s account information to verify who they are, and then have all the information they need to access that person’s account.
· If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from your bank, tell them that you will contact someone directly at your local branch and do not give them any personal information over the phone.
· Use a post office box for your mail. Many of the people committing identity theft get your personal information right out of your mailbox. This is especially true when you place mail in your home mailbox for the post office to pick up. Most of the mail we send are payment of bills, they will have your account number and any other personal information that may be shown on the bill or check. He recommends using a secured post office drop box for all outgoing mail.
· When it comes to social media be extremely careful of how much personal information that you post on Facebook. When dealing with Facebook, he recommends not posting where you work, when your birthday is, what school your kids go to, any photos of your home, or when you are going on vacation. Criminals are always looking for this information. Be Aware and Alert at all times.