Anchor: This year, somewhere between 500,000 to 700,000 individuals will have their credit stolen. That works out to about one person each minute.
Anchor: Money and real estate expert Ilyce Glink is here with a few suggestions on protecting your identity.
Ilyce: Your credit history is the single most important piece of information a lender will assess. And with identity theft on the rise, your credit history could be in danger. All someone needs to steal your identity is access to your social security number – which is everywhere. It’s probably on your driver’s license, on your medical information, and on your college ID. Here are some ways in which you keep your financial identity safe.
Protect Your Identity
CARRY ONLY THE CARDS YOU NEED
Sign your credit cards “CHECK ID”
Don’t carry your social security number
NO PIN NUMBERS
Take care with receipts
Shred important documents
Check receipts against statements
Don’t disclose personal information over the phone
Watch for your credit card statements
Frequently check your credit report
Ways to protect your credit:
myFICO.com Credit history and score for $12.95
Equifax Credit Watch $49.95
ILYCE: If someone does steal your identity you’ll want to catch it quickly. There probably won’t be a financial loss, but you could spend 6 months to a year trying to unwind the damage.