How to protect yourself from identity theft - 96.9 WINK FM

How to protect yourself from identity theft


Millions of people are affected each year by identity theft. It can happen to anyone, anywhere.

The Federal Trade Commission received nearly 3 million identity theft reports in 2021, costing victims nearly $6 billion. The most common type of identify theft were government documents or benefit fraud, loan or lease fraud, and credit card fraud.

Convicted identity thieves told Readers Digest one of the easiest ways to steal someone’s money was to take a picture of their credit cards while they were paying at a grocery store.

Another easy target is paying bills the old-fashioned way.

Thieves can steal your bills from your mailbox and get your name, address, and credit card numbers all at once.

Make sure all your credit cards have an embedded chip which makes them a lot harder to hack. And you can now get safety cards to put in your wallet that won’t allow thieves to scan your number while it’s safely in your wallet.

Always use your credit card instead of your debit card. If hackers break into retail databases, debit cards give direct access to your banking account, and a thief’s least favorite credit card — American Express — because it asks for a zip code to finalize a transaction.

Never access your bank account over a public wi-fi network. The safest wi-fi is at your home. Just make sure your home wi-fi network is secure by requiring a password.

The pre-approved credit card offers in the mail can also open you up to identity theft, but you can opt-out by calling 888-5-OPTOUT(888-597-688).

Make sure your credit report is accurate. You can get free copies from all three credit bureaus every week until the end of the year at


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