Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country today. It doesn’t just happen if your credit card gets stolen and you end up with fraudulent charges on your account. Identity theft happens when someone gets hold of your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, or Social Security number, and uses that to open credit card accounts in your name, obtain loans, or drain bank accounts.
One of the best ways to protect yourself against identity theft is to store all your personal information, including credit and debit cards, in a safe place. In addition, never give out your personal information to anyone, unless you are sure that they represent a legitimate company or service.
Review your credit reports regularly. This will alert you early on if you’ve been a victim of identity theft. It is also a good idea to enroll in a credit monitoring service, which gives you a number of tools to monitor, manage and protect your credit and identity information. This service involves a fee, so be sure you understand the terms and conditions before you sign up.