(StatePoint) More than 13 million U.S. consumers fall victim to identity theft each year, according to Javelin Strategy and Research, with more than $15 billion stolen. Fortunately for consumers, many of these crimes are preventable.
“Falling victim to identity theft can be financially devastating for many consumers, a consequence that only further emphasizes the importance of safeguarding your personal information,” says Guy Abramo, president of Experian Consumer Services.
The identity protection experts at Experian recommend the following tips to better protect yourself.
• Protect your home: Your home is your castle and identity thieves know this is where your most valuable possessions are likely stored. Diminish your vulnerability by using a safe to store sensitive information, such as birth certificates, social security cards and passports. You should also use a shredder to reduce your paper trail. Pay and immediately shred utility bills, credit card statements and other paperwork that includes your personal information.
• Be cautious at work: “Familiar fraud” is common and occurs when a victim’s identity is stolen by someone he or she knows. At work, store personal items like wallets and smartphones in a locked cabinet. Don’t copy or scan sensitive documents, as memory (more…)