Many Americans are worried about someone stealing their credit card, paycheck, or debit card numbers, but they may be overlooking the one easy way thieves can access your financial information… your trash.
Thieves easily can find receipts, statements and bills with valid account numbers in trash cans. Some easy steps you can take to prevent thieves from stealing your financial information:
- Shred all preapproved credit offers, credit and debit card receipts, insurance forms, financial statements, and other paperwork containing personal and financial information.
- Check your statements. Credit union statements and other financial statements monthly for discrepancies and order a credit report once a year to make sure no one else is using your personal information to obtain credit cards or services.
- Don’t print your Social Security number on your checks and don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
- Be Cautious. Be hesitant about giving personal or financial information over the telephone–make sure you know the caller and know how the information will be used.
- Check your credit report. It’s always a good idea to check your credit report at minimum one time per year to make sure that nothing looks out of sorts.
Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of other ways people can commit fraud other than stealing your credit card receipts. For example, when you pay for a meal at a restaurant, the waiter will often take the credit card to the back of the store to run it through the credit card processing machine. They could easily write down your numbers and information on a piece of paper while they are back there. Some people have fallen victim to fraud in this way which is another reason why it’s important to check your statements and credit reports regularly.
So, it is important to always be on guard, and take extra steps to prevent fraud in any way you can.