1. Do not take your bank card, driver’s license, or any personal form of i.d. out of your purse or wallet until the point of transaction. This renders it harder for someone behind in the line or passing through, to click a photo in a flash-and be off with your numbers. People take these things out early, thinking they are being courteous or time-efficient, but it could be more detrimental in the long run.
2. Disregard any mail that says, U.S.A. at the bottom of it. “Think about it,” said Rule. It doesn’t need to say that, and “it is a dead giveaway. Toss it out.”
3. Never give personal information over the phone to a recording machine. Call back and get a live person.
4. “All blocked calls are bad.”
5. Callers can disguise their identity with new technology, enabling them to use legitimate numbers to fool you. If they want personal information, “need money now” or you didn’t expect their call. Hang up. Dial back, and you should reach the real location the number belongs to, and be able to see if they were indeed trying to contact you.
6. Take advantage of, and always get your one free credit report per year, and check for anything that looks suspicious. Get one from each nationwide option. These are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
7. Never give anyone secure information when they contact you. Legitimate companies that dealt with you previously, already have this in their system.
8. Be pro-active with securing your online passwords/usernames, wireless devices, and your home security. It only takes minutes for someone to get in and out, never having to see or be near your home again, to access your devices and identity in the future. The same goes for using public wi-fi systems. Err on the side of caution.
9. Shred bills or personal documents before you put them in the garbage.
10. Be sure to share this information with friends and family. It could help them from becoming a victim to a crime that, if not caught early or prevented-could destroy lives.