How to avoid identity theft: Flagler Beach PD offers tips

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The Flagler Beach Police Department has compiled a series of tips to help residents avoid identity theft.

The best way to prevent identity theft is to use an identity theft service, according to the Flagler Beach Police Department news release, but people can also reduce their chances of becoming victims by following these commonsense pointers:

  • Avoid carrying unneeded credit cards or identification cards, so there’s less information on you for a thief to steal.
  • Photocopy important documents in your wallet or purse and keep the copy in a secure place. Then, if a card is stolen, you’ll be able to quickly call the bank to report the theft.
  • Don’t click on links in emails from financial institutions, even if they look legitimate. The emails could be from identity thieves fishing for confidential information.
  • Install a computer firewall, as well as anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and keep them all up-to-date. 
  • Destroy and shred all checks, debit cards and credit cards when you close an account. Also shred junk mail before tossing it out, so identity thieves can’t find confidential information in your trash.
  • Check monthly bank statements regularly, and challenge any unauthorized purchases. If individuals do not receive their billing information promptly, they should notify any companies involved.
  • Request to have you social security numbers removed from your personal checks.
  • Never give social security numbers or account numbers out over the phone, even if you made the call.
  • Be aware of your surroundings while using an ATM. Make sure that no one’s looking over your shoulder.
  • Don’t have you bank mail new checks to your home. Thieves can easily snatch them. Instead, pick up their checks at the bank.

Identity theft is one of the most common and fastest-growing crimes in the U.S., according to the news release.


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