Tips for Securing Your Identity
Tips for Securing Your Identity
I recently came across a great article written by Frank W. Abagnale on the BankRate.com website that discussed fourteen ways to avoid identity theft. Mr. Abagnale was portrayed by Leonardo DiCapprio in the Film “Catch me if you can”. Frank is no joke. He is one of the greatest because of his history as a former confidence trickster, check forger, imposteer, and escape artist. He became notorious in the 1960s for passing $2.5 million worth of meticulously forged checks across 26 countries over the course of five years. He went to prison for his crimes and eventually was hire by the FBI. So when this guy speaks or writes about how to protect your identity it is worth listening.
Today he is one of the world’s most respected authorities on the subjects of forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. For over thirty five years he has lectured and consulted financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world. In November 2010 he signed a two year contract as a consultant to Intuit’s Small Business Division. If you want to find out more about him please visit his website.
Here are some of Frank’s tips to help secure your identity:
- The prime target of criminals is your Social Security number. It is the key to your credit report and banking accounts.
- Monitor your credit report. It contains your SSN, employers, all account numbers, and credit score
- Your name and credit score is all a lender needs to make a decision.
- Your credit report should be shredded before your eyes, or returned to you once a decision has been made.
- Use a crosscut shredder, shred all old bank and credit statements, junk mail and credit card offers.
- Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus, to reduce the number of pre-approved credit card offers.
- Do not carry extra credit cards.
- Photocopy contents of your wallet front and back of everything. Keep it in a safe place in case your wallet or purse is stolen. It will help you make the police report and help when notifying your financial intuitions.
- Do not put important mail in your mail box, take to the post office.
- Do not print your social security number on your checks.
- Order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement once a year, to check for fraud.
- Read your credit card statements before paying them.
- Cancel all unused credit card accounts.
- Never give your credit card number or personal information over the phone to anyone you don’t trust.
- Enroll in a credit report monitoring service that will notify you whenever someone applies for credit in your name.
At WRM Security Services Inc. we believe that safety begins with having the knowledge to prevent crime. I hope these tips from Frank William Abagnale, Jr. will help you and your family prevents identity theft. To view the entire article posted at BankRate.com: http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/advice/20030124b.asp.
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