Preventive Measures

Monitor Mail & Other Correspondence

  • Promptly remove delivered mail from your mailbox.
  • Notify all credit card companies in advance if you are moving.
  • Immediately report any suspicious activity by a mailbox, blue collection box, or parked and unattended postal mail delivery truck.
  • Deposit outgoing mail in a post office collection box rather than leaving outgoing mail in your mailbox for pick up.
  • Remove your name from the Direct Marketing Association mailing, telemarketing, and email lists.

Protect Personal Information

  • Never give personal information over the phone, such as your social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, credit card numbers, or bank PIN numbers unless you initiated the call.
  • Memorize your social security number, personal identification number (PIN), and passwords. Don't write them down anywhere.
  • Use caution when disclosing checking account numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal information at any website or online service location unless you received a secured authentication key from your provider.
  • Beware of mail or telephone solicitations disguised as promotions offering instant prizes or awards designed solely to obtain your personal information or credit card numbers.
  • Consider a non-published number.

Safeguard Cards & Paperwork

  • Never loan your credit card to anyone.
  • Sign all credit cards. Write on the front "Ask for picture identification."
  • Report all lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  • Shred all pre-approved credit card applications, credit receipts, bills, and other financial information you do not need.
  • Never leave automated teller machine (ATM) receipts at bank machines or gas pumps. Take your receipts with you; don't throw them in the trash.

Track Credit & Benefits

  • Order a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus once a year to check for fraudulent activity.
  • Order your Social Security Benefits and Earnings Statement yearly.