If you lost your wallet today, could you identify what was in it?
Credit cards, driver’s license or health insurance cards are just a few items where your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, bank account or credit card could be taken without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes using your identity. Here are a few practical tips to protect your identity.
Take a wallet inventory: Make a list of the important things in your wallet. Include credit card phone numbers and who to con-tact. Make photocopies of both sides of the cards.(Don’t forget to take all your cards from the copy machine!) Keep your list in your personal home filing system. Or, just take photos of your wallet’s contents with your mobile device so you have them with you when you travel.
Look at the list: Do any of the cards, like your health insurance or Medicare cards, have your Social Security number on them? Your Social Security number can allow an identity thief to gain access to pension plans, bank accounts, investments and your Social Security Earnings and Benefit Statement. Consider taking extra precautions to safeguard cards containing your full Social Security number.
Purge your wallet: After you’ve completed your wallet inventory, dispose of any expired cards or cards you no longer need. It will lighten your load and reduce your exposure to fraud if your wallet is lost or stolen.
If you’d like to add an additional layer of fraud protection, visit TwinstarCU.com/services/fraud-defender.