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Identity theft is believed to be only an electronic crime, but the truth is that your habits from day to day can lead to your identity being stolen. Even the smallest things can create an opportunity for an identity thief to grab enough of your personal information to steal your identity. This results in immense damage to your credit. Very often the thief leaves behind such a mess, that the person feels like their life is destroyed.
To prevent identity theft, it is best to leave certain items in your wallet or purse behind when going out.
Here are some of the things that are best left at home:
1. Social Security Card:
You wouldn’t believe how many people in this day and age still walk around in public with their social security card sitting in their wallet or purse. If you are not going for a job interview, then there is very little reason to carry your social security card with you Just leaving this piece of identification at home can help prevent most cases of identity theft. Identity theft statistics show that with your social security number a thief could basically build a whole new life. It can also be sold to someone and obviously it wouldn’t be for a good cause. Once your personal information is in the wrong hands, the thief could use your information to apply for a job, obtain credit cards or even apply for government benefits.
2. Driver’s License: Make certain you have a copy of both the front and back of your driver’s license and keep it in a safe place at home. That way if you lose your wallet or purse, you would still have all of your important information just in case.
3. Credit Cards: First, unless you are on vacation or holiday shopping – all of your credit cards should not be in your wallet. Some of them can just be left at home. And you should have a copy of the front and back of all of your credit cards. This way if they are lost or stolen you have the needed information to call the banks and freeze all your accounts
4. Insurance Cards: Have a copy of your insurance card as well. According to identity theft statistics, these can be used at hospitals to run up an account in your name.
5. Personal Information In Your Wallet: There is a reason why you should not have any of your personal information in your wallet such as city of birth, your mother’s maiden name, and name of your high school. You can avoid identity theft by making it that much harder for a thief who is trying to steal your personal information.
6. Debit Cards: You’d be surprised just how many people use the year they were born or the last 4 digits of their social security for their debit card pin number. Better yet, they’ll use some random 4 digit number and since they can’t remember their pin they’ll actually write it down and it’ll be in their wallet. This is a big NO NO because by doing this, you’ve just invited someone to completely empty your debit account with minimal chances of ever getting that money back. So pick a pin number that only you will remember, but which will be hard for others to even guess.
7. Extra Cash: I know some people like to carry a lot of cash around but little do they know that when they are in a public place and your wallet is out in the open that someone can just snatch your wallet and leave with all that hard earned cash. When you are in public, you are taking a change at having some prying eyes eyeing your wallet. You most definitely do not want to become a victim five minutes later because you were just robbed and have to file a a police report about how you got robbed and they took your wallet with all that cash in it.
Just by following these simple tips you lower your chances of being a victim of identity theft. In the event that you do lose your wallet, you can at least know that your wallet had very minimal cash inside it and that it didn’t contain any sensitive information which could make it easy for someone to start living a double life.
Lets hear from you! Do you have any other methods that where not mentioned here and you use to prevent identity theft?