Protect your bank accounts and your mail:
- Whenever possible, place passwords on your accounts. Review your account statements on a regular basis and consider using online or phone balance and transaction review features. This will help you to quickly notice any discrepancies that could indicate fraudulent activity.
- Shred documents that contain personal information before discarding them. Shred all unwanted balance transfer checks and pre-approved offers for credit cards or loans before disposing of them.
- Be careful about information you provide on your personal checks. Never print your driver's license or Social Security number on your checks.
- When ordering new checks, pick them up at the bank rather than having them mailed to your home. If you have a post office box, use that address on your checks rather than a home address. Store new and cancelled checks in a secure place not accessible to others.
- Do not write your account number on the outside of payment or deposit envelopes.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. If you don't get your bills in the mail on time, be suspicious and call the company to make sure that no one has changed your billing address or diverted your mail.
- Check your credit reports on a regular basis. Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) at least once a year. Confirm that the information they have about you is accurate and dispute anything that is not. Checking the facts will NOT affect your credit rating.
- Consumers can remove their names from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus by calling 1(888) 5-OPT OUT. This will reduce the amount of solicitation mailings you receive (such as pre-approved credit card applications).
- If you will be away from home for an extended period of time, call the U.S. Postal Service and ask that your mail be placed on “vacation hold.” The U.S. Postal Service can be reached at 1(800) 275-8777.