Identity theft is a serious problem.
Scammers steal identity in person, online, through social media, and by phone. They steal wallets and go through the trash for bank statements or tax documents. They install skimmers at ATMs, cash registers, and fuel pumps. Some steal your info when you use public Wi-Fi. And they use that information to make purchases, get new credit cards, or open new accounts in your name. They steal tax refunds, and health insurance info, and pretend to be you if arrested.
Are you nervous? You’ll know you have a problem when you receive bills for things you didn’t buy. Or you’re contacted by debt collectors for accounts you didn’t even open. Go to IdentityTheft.gov to report suspicious activity and begin the process of recovery. Contact the three major credit reporting agencies. Ask them to place fraud alerts and a credit freeze on your accounts. Contact all of your credit card issuers, banks, and other places where you have an account. Store financial records, Social Security and Medicare cards, and other important documents in a safe place. Shred all paperwork with private information. When asked for your Social Security number, ask why, and how they will protect it. Can they use a different form of identification or just the last 4 digits of your Social Security number? Use strong passwords and add multi-factor authentication when possible. Never give personal information to anyone who calls, emails, or texts you. It could be a scammer!
Now if you’ve been helped by Crown or this radio station, can I ask you to begin supporting us both? First, give to this radio station and then consider being part of the Crown Matching Challenge going on now through December 31st. Every gift will be doubled today at crown.org.