You may be a victim of identity theft and not know it until it's too late. Your personal information may have been stolen and used to access your accounts. It may be some time before you realize this and may make it too difficult for you to recover what has been taken from you. You may be locked out of your account and have to go through a whole verification process to show you are the true owner of that account. By then the person or persons responsible for the theft may be long gone. Take steps to make sure you are updated on the status of your accounts.
- Verify your bank statements. Make sure you are updated with your bank account's activity. You may get a bank statement in the mail once a month from the bank. If this won't be enough to put you at ease you may enroll in the bank's online service and check your account from there. This will allow you to see the account's status as many times as you wish.
- If you notice discrepancies notify the bank right away. Check your bank account and credit card activity, if something seems out of place like a purchase you never made or a withdrawal you didn't request, then call or go to the bank immediately to inform them of the inconsistency. The sooner they are informed; they could take immediate steps to hold off all activities on your account. This will prevent further theft or damage and may help to trace whoever is responsible for it, leading to the persons capture.
- Obtain monitoring services for your accounts. There are monitoring services that you can avail of to make sure you are warned immediately when an activity is made on your account. You may have to spend for these services, but it will provide you security for all your accounts.
- Do not post your PIN or account information anywhere that the public may see. Writing down account information like passwords or PIN somewhere where you could easily misplace them is not such a good idea. Try to memorize this information so as not to accidentally offer this data to anyone.
Safeguard your personal identification information so you won't fall prey to identity theft. It could be days or months before you notice a theft, so check your accounts regularly.
As much as possible avoid sharing your personal information through the internet or over the phone unless you are sure it is secure.
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