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  3. Invest in your Financial Health: Preventing Identity Theft

Invest in your Financial Health: Preventing Identity Theft

Release Date: March 20, 2024

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network received 5.4 million reports of fraud in 2023. The top two areas are identity theft and imposter scams. Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment with your health insurance. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to safeguard your personal information and prevent identity theft:

  • Shred documents with medical or financial information rather than throwing them in the trash.
  • Review your account statements regularly and look for suspicious charges and report them to the FTC.
  • Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
  • Avoid accessing online banking and e-commerce websites when using public Wi-Fi.
  • Beware of phishing scams and do not provide personal information to individuals who contact you via phone or email.
  • If you are concerned about someone opening new accounts without your permission, consider using a credit freeze. Military service members who are deploying can also place an active duty alert on their credit reports to help minimize the risk of identity theft.

To learn more about what steps to take if your identity if compromised, visit IdentityTheft.gov. Your Employee Assistance Program is also a great place to start your search for identity theft information or assistance with financial topics.

Last Updated: 03/22/2024
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