How to Protect Yourself From Credit Fraud and Identity Theft
Cut up and destroy pre-approved credit offers that you don't use.
Secure your mail box or use a PO Box to limit the risk of stolen mail.
If your mail has been tampered with notify postal authorities.
Avoid carrying identity document such as a Social Security card, birth certificate or passport.
Reduce the number of credit cards you are carrying to a minimum.
Avoid giving personal information over the phone or Internet. If on the Internet make sure that any transactions are completed in a secure encrypted website. The entire website usually isn't secure, only the pages that require personal information.
Do not have your Social Security or driver's license number printed on your checks.
Keep a list of your credit and banks accounts (including phone numbers and expiration dates) in a secure place, such as a lockbox.
If your credit cards or checks are lost or stolen notify your creditors immediately. Request that your bank account number be changed and new checks be issued.
File a police report - banks and credit card companies may require a report to verify the crime.
Order your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus at least once a year to ensure that the information is correct.
Consider listing only your name and phone number (no address) in the telephone book.