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Protecting Yourself

How can I protect myself?

Below are a number of ways to familiarize yourself with various ways to protect yourself from identity theft, fraud, and scams. 

  • Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon by signing up for Informed Delivery® by USPS®.

  • Destroy private records and statements-Never throw personal documents in the trash or recycling bin without shredding them first. By destroying these documents, you can prevent “dumpster divers” from getting your personal information.  These documents include:
    • Bank statements
    • Receipts
    • Credit Card offers
    • Medical statements
    • Expired plastic like debit cards and credit cards
    • 401(k) or savings account statements
    • Personal records

  • Look at devices you are using with your debit and credit card.
    • Use your eyes: Look before you insert your card.
    • Use your fingers: If something doesn’t feel right, move on.
    • Use your common sense: Use fuel pumps and ATMs in safe places.

  • Create complex passwords. If a company that you do business with has a breach of its databases, change your password.
    • To learn more about creating complex passwords, visit this link.
    • Avoid using personal identifiers such as your mother’s maiden name or your pet’s name in the password.

  • Do not give your Social Security number or other personal information (birthdate or bank account number) about yourself to anyone that contacts you.
    • Do not carry your social security card with you.
    • If you receive a call and someone asks you to verify this information, advise them that you will call them back.

  • Don’t leave a paper trail.
    • Never leave an ATM, credit card, or gas station receipts behind.

  • Monitor your credit report.
    • Order your credit report once a year to review activity.

  • Review your credit card statements carefully.