These tips can help you learn what to watch out for to prevent identity theft.

Credit Cards

  • Sign new cards immediately.
  • Store them safely. They are money!
  • Only carry the cards you will use.
  • Don’t write your PIN on your card.
  • Shred documents that show your account number before discarding.
  • Don’t give your card number over the phone, unless you initiated the call.
  • Remember to get your card and receipt after a purchase, and double check that they are yours.
  • Notify the credit card company immediately if your bill is incorrect or if your card is lost or stolen.
  • Check your bill carefully and notify the credit card company if you don't receive it on time.

Internet

  • Never e-mail your credit card number or Social Security number.
  • Check carefully that you are on the page you intended to visit, and not an impostor's page.
  • Use only secure web pages for online ordering. (Look for the padlock symbol in your browser bar.)
  • Online credit applications that request a Social Security number should also be on secure web pages. (Look for the padlock symbol.)
  • Use antivirus and personal firewall software, and keep it updated.

Mail

  • Don’t write your credit card number or Social Security number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
  • Collect your mail promptly.
  • Have your mail held if you'll be out of town or on vacation.
  • Use collection boxes or the post office for outgoing mail if your home mailbox is unattended.
  • Opt out of receiving pre-approved credit offers.