How Can I Prevent Identity Theft?

On the Internet?

  • Never give out personal information in response to an unknown email or advertisement requesting personal information.
  • When sending personal information to a legitimate organization or person, check to see if the site is secure.
  • Exercise caution when downloading files or opening attachments as some are infected with viruses.

With ATM Machines?

  • When punching in your PIN numbers make sure no one is watching. Cover the numbers you type in with your other hand.
  • Make transactions in the daylight in a safe neighborhood.
  • Only use ATM machines that are located within or affiliated with a financial institution to ensure the machine is legitimate. This way there will be an institution you can contact immediately if your card gets stuck in the machine.
  • Keep your pin number in a safe place and don´t store it with your ATM card.

Over the Telephone?

  • Never give out your Social Security number, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers to someone who calls you asking for them. If it is someone claiming to be from your bank or credit card company, tell them that you will call them back and use a number you already have on file – not a phone number the caller gives you.
  • Ask for information in writing from organizations claiming to seek money for a charity.