Considering that December is one of the most active times of the year when it comes to spending money, it’s not a surprise that it’s been declared Identity Theft & Protection Awareness Month. It is a time to enjoy the season and the spirit of giving, but you want to make sure to remain vigilant and that no one is taking more than they should from you! Identity theft is when a person steals your personal information and uses it to steal money, apply for a credit card or open other types of accounts, in your name. Take precautions to minimize the chances of a thief stealing your identity during the holidays and the rest of the year, too.
- Don’t share personal information: Never share personal financial information, social security information or passwords with anyone. It is rare that a bank or company will ask for that over the phone. Most often, your identity is verified with a security question or just the last 4 digits of your social security number.
- Be cautious on social media: Do not make information like your street address, birth date or mother’s maiden name public. That kind of information is often used to verify your identity.
- Carry only what you need: Do not carry hard copies of your social security card or more credit cards than you need when you go out. It’s one less credit card company you have to call and worry about if your wallet gets stolen or lost.
- Go digital: Opt to have bank statements delivered to you digitally instead of on paper through the mail. Identity thieves look for anything like bank and credit card statements that will have your financial information on them.
- Keep your smartphone secure: Use a passcode lock and don’t keep financial apps open on your phone. Additionally, be sure to wipe your phone clean before donating or trading it in.
If you suspect any fraudulent activity, report it immediately to your bank.
Waypoint Bank strives to be an exceptional provider of superior financial solutions that promote the small-town approach of putting the customer first while earning their trust in the most friendly and professional manner possible. Stop by your local Waypoint Bank today or contact us online.