Identity theft can happen any time of year, anywhere your personal information is available.
Results of a Nationwide Insurance survey show that victims spend an average of 81 hours trying to resolve their cases and pay $587 in out-of-pocket expenses.
Use our identity theft prevention tips to protect your good name.
- Leave extra credit cards and your Social Security card in a secure place at home. It’s not necessary to carry all your credit cards with you when you shop - just take the ones you need for that trip.
- When using an ATM, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder to see your PIN, and always take your receipt. Sometimes it has vital information that criminals could use to access your bank account.
- Review your credit card receipt before you hand it back to the cashier. Some receipts will have your credit card information on them. If so, take a pen and cross out your credit card number before giving the receipt back.
- Use a credit card, not a debit card, when shopping online. Only shop with companies you trust or have done business with in the past. Make sure they are using a secure server to store your information.
- Always sign the back of your credit cards or write, "Ask for photo ID."
Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the country, and it can take years to restore your credit. Prevent identity theft from happening to you by keeping a close eye on all of your transactions – online, at a mall, at a restaurant and anywhere you do business.