Are Identity Thieves Targeting You Next?
When it comes to running a household, moms know how important it is for the finances to be in place.
Whether it is a mom and dad working together to keep the family financially afloat, a mom staying home and raising the kids or a mom on her own both working and raising a family, life is a real financial challenge for millions and millions of families.
Making matters worse is when one’s financial dealings are targeted by identity thieves.
In some cases, the targeting is minimal and can be corrected with the proper action. In other cases, however, the financial damage can be significant, leaving the individual and/or family financially devastated.
So, what can you do as a mother to make sure you and your family does not become the next identity theft victims?
Be Prudent About Your Finances
For starters, make sure you are not leaving any loose ends not tied up when it comes to your finances.
Do you tend to leave financial receipts sitting around in the open? Have you shared financial information with co-workers or friends? Are you always quick to shred financial account information when you no longer need it? These are just some of the things that you need to have control over in order to lessen the chances of being an identity theft victim.
Begin by looking at identity theft protection reviews to see what set-up is best suited for you and your family.
By using such reviews, you can discover which theft protection provider is the one to go with, who offers the most coverage at the best price, and who will provide you top-notch customer service.
Once you have a theft protection provider in place, make sure you stick to sound financial practices as they relate to protecting your information.
- Don’t leave a paper trail – It is all too common for consumers to leave behind financial receipts, receipts that are like a gold mine for identity theft criminals. Once you no longer need the receipt, be sure to properly discard it (shred) so that the information is not available to others, be it in your home life or the outside world. The best way to do this is keep the receipts in a safe and secure place where only you (and/or your spouse have access to them). Once you take the time to go over your bank statement each month and make sure everything adds up, then destroy the receipts promptly
- Don’t fall for scams – One of the tricks identity thieves use is posing as legitimate businesses. You may get a call or email from someone requesting personal financial information in order to process a request. Never give out such details unless you are 100 percent sure you are dealing with a reputable person and business. Once your credit card or Social Security numbers are out there, they can be used to cause you significant financial damage
- Don’t pass your personal info on to others without important instructions – It is not unheard of for a parent to give their teen one of their credit cards to use at a store or restaurant. While that is fine when done correctly, the problem occurs if the teen leaves the card behind, misplaces the receipt etc. Make sure your children do not leave such important financial details sitting around, details that someone with bad intentions could easily take into their possession
- Don’t leave online footprints – Given that more consumers use their computers to do handle their financial transactions, it should not come as a surprise that more identity theft thieves are going online to get the information they need to commit a crime. Once they have that information (credit card numbers, PINS, Social Security number etc.), they can do endless damage not only to your bank account, but also your credit score. If you use a computer in a public setting (at a library, your laptop at Starbucks etc.), make sure you don’t walk away from it even for a minute and leave personal financial details on the screen. It just takes seconds for a well-trained thief to gather the personal data and begin to create havoc in your life.
With identity theft thieves looking to strike at any moment, don’t allow yourself and/or your family to become the next victims.
Have you been a victim of identity theft? Please share your story.