Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information, such as your Social Security number, address, phone number or financial account information, and uses it to open up lines of credit IN YOUR NAME.
What you can do to protect yourself?
- Protect your personal information. Do not give out information such as your social security number, and important passwords to your accounts.
- Never carry your social security card, memorize the number. If you must give the number for verification over the phone, the last 4 digits should suffice. Institutions should never ask you to provide your full social security number.
- Do not give personal information over the phone; the caller on the other side may not be who they purport to be.
- Use a secured mailbox.
- Check your credit history and score regularly. Subscribe to a reputable credit monitoring service. It may cost you a fee but peace of mind is priceless.
- Shred all documents containing important information before disposing of them.
The NYPD Crime Prevention Section hosts shredding events on a monthly basis. For more information on shredding events, tips and other Crime Prevention programs, contact us at CrimePrevention@nypd.org or 212-614-6741.