How can I prevent identity theft from happening to me? Identity Theft (when someone uses your identity to fraudulently obtain money, goods or services) has become a large problem nationwide. It's very important to learn how to protect yourself from this insidious crime that can ruin your credit rating and cause major problems for you for many years.
At a minimum, you should make copies or electronic scanned images of all of your credit cards, licenses, and other important identification and credit cards/documents, and keep them in a safe place.
Next to the copy of each card, write down the respective 800 phone number to call if you have a problem. Protect your social security number and only give it out when required by law. Also, do not give out your personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
When you open new accounts, use new Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.