On February 21, Identity Theft 911 fraud specialists Mark Fullbright, Vicki Volkert and Raul Vargas tackled phone questions about identity theft during an on-air special on Arizona’s KNXV ABC 15. To watch the video and read the full article, please visit the .
Concerned about identity theft? Follow these tips to reduce your risk:
• Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
• Avoid carrying cards with your SSN, particularly health insurance cards, unless you need them to receive care.
• Request that your driver’s license number is not the same as your Social Security number.
• Never give out your SSN, credit card number, or other personal information over the phone unless you have a trusted business relationship with the organization and initiated the call using a verified phone number.
• Avoid including your SSN on job applications.
• Provide your SSN only when absolutely necessary—for tax forms, employment, student records, stock, and property transactions, etc.
• If your financial institution attempts to use your SSN as an account number, ask them to change it immediately.
• If a government agency requests your SSN, look for a Privacy Act notice. This will state whether a SSN is required, how it will be used, how it is protected, and what happens if you don’t provide it.
• Never leave your wallet or purse in your car, not even in the trunk.
• Whenever possible, avoid carrying these items with you: birth certificate; passport; military identification card; driver’s license or insurance card with SSN on it; banking information (PINs, logins, passwords, or account numbers); paychecks; pay stubs; and deposit slips.
• Use either a secure locking mailbox or a post office box.
• Never place outbound mail (at home or work) in an open, unlocked mailbox.
• Never leave mail in your car.
• Investigate immediately if expected statements or bills from your financial institutions do not arrive on time.
• Be especially vigilant during January and April when tax documents are sent out—they’re favorite targets for identity thieves.
• During extended absences, have mail held at the post office.
• Never simply discard “pre-approved” credit offers you received in the mail. Always shred them.Additional tips can be found in the .