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How to Prevent Identity Theft
- Destroy all unused pre-approved credit card and loan applications. The mailbox thief only has to fill them out and redirect the return address to start using your credit.
- Never give any important numbers out like from your drivers license, credit card, bank account, date of birth or social security number to anyone you don't know over the telephone.
- Before disposal, shred credit, debit, and ATM card receipts along with paycheck stubs and W-2 forms that contain your social security number and often your name and address. This is a common way for dumpster divers to obtain important identification.
- Destroy all checks immediately when you close a checking account. Destroy or keep in a secure place, any courtesy checks that your bank or credit card company may mail to you.
- Memorize your passwords and personal identification (PIN) numbers. Keep your PIN numbers somewhere that only you know. Don't give out your PIN or write them on your credit cards or ATM cards.
- Do not use your credit card number on the Internet unless it is encrypted on a secured site.
- If you receive this type of call, DO NOT give out any personal information. Hang up the telephone, dial *57 to possibly obtain a trace and then report the call to DPS. Scams of this nature occur all the time and increase as the college academic years begin.
- Keep a watch out for people standing near you at retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, etc., that have a cell phone in hand. With the new camera cell phones, they can take a picture of your credit card, which gives them your name, number, and expiration date. Identification theft is one of the fastest growing scams today, and this is just another example of the means that are being used.