Identity theft becomes a life consuming affair for too many people every year. Luckily, Safeco Insurance has given us tips on how to avoid having your identity stolen.
Start With Good Habits.
Watch Your Accounts Closely
- Print out the .pdf of this information, and store in a convenient place
- Leave your Social Security card at home in a safe place
- Shred papers with personal information
- Reduce your credit card accounts, and carry only the cards you need
- Write checks with a permanent pen, and mail from a secure place
- Photocopy both sides of your credit cards and store safely
Fill Out the FTC Affidavit Quickly
- Review balances and transactions often by phone or online
- Make sure every transaction on your credit card statements is accurate
- Take advantage of free credit reports (see sidebar) and watch for unusual activity
- Sign up with Experian, Transunion, and Equifax and stagger your requests to get a free credit report every four months or sign up for credit watch services which will report directly to you for a fee
- The FTC Theft Affidavit supplies proof that you didn't authorize any accounts opened or debts run up by the identity thief
- New accounts need this FTC affidavit form to investigate the fraud and process your claim
- Call your existing accounts for instructions on disputing unauthorized charges as other forms may be needed
- Keep originals of the affidavit, and all supporting materials such as driver's license or police report. Send copies only.
- Send quickly—many creditors request that you send the affidavit within two weeks