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Identity Theft: How to Protect Yourself

Identity Theft: How to Protect Yourself

According to IdentityForce.com, about 1 in 15 people were victims of identity fraud in 2019. As technology continues to grow, the risk will only get higher. That’s why protecting yourself from this kind of crime is more important now than ever! 

Rundown of Identity Theft 

The first step in prevention is recognizing what identity theft is and why it’s dangerous. Identity theft is a crime in which an individual’s personal and/or financial information is illegally obtained, most commonly for financial gain. With your information, that criminal could then: 

  • Withdraw money from your account 
  • Steal your tax refund 
  • Sell your information to others 
  • Apply for loans, credit cards, etc. in your name 

Recognizing Identity Theft 

Now it’s time to understand what the signs of identity theft are so you’re prepared if you were ever put in this situation. If you start noticing any of these things, identity theft may be the problem at hand: 

  • You notice unusual or unrecognizable withdrawals from your account 
  • Your tax return received a rejection notice 
  • You are turned down for a loan due to bad credit when you have good credit 
  • You notice an absence in your household bills coming through the mail 

Preventing Identity Theft 

The good news is there are lots of things you can do to protect yourself from crimes like this. To keep your information secure, follow these important steps: 

  • Never give out personal or sensitive information such as your Social Security number
  • Destroy private records with a paper shredder before disposing of it.
  • Check your account and credit reports regularly for suspicious activity 
  • Create strong passwords and use different passwords for each account you own 
  • Don’t click on unknown links and don’t enter any login credentials on an unfamiliar login screen 
  • Never carry your Social Security card on you, but instead keep it in a safe and secure place in your house unless you need to access it 

Additionally, American First has taken steps to help all members with identity theft. American First debit and credit Mastercard’s come with free ID Theft Protection! You can sign up here for:

  • 24/7 Certified Identity Theft Resolution Specialists
  • Comprehensive Identity Monitoring
  • Online Fraud Alert Placement
  • Suspicious Activity Alerts

If you want to learn more about American First credit cards, visit our credit card page too! When it comes to protecting yourself from identity theft, the more precautions you take, the better! Make 2021 the year you decide to up your security game and take proper action. To learn more about cybersecurity or to discuss the financial services we offer, visit our account security page.

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