Help to safeguard yourself against identity theft

If you watch the news, listen to the radio or read a newspaper, magazine or the Internet, then you probably are aware that identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. While recovering from an act of identity theft can be difficult, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity thieves.

Identity theft often starts with a Social Security number, or SSN. Once a thief has a valid number, he or she can open or reactivate credit card accounts in your name, apply for federal or state benefits or make changes in your financial accounts. That nine-digit SSN is a valuable first step in assuming someone's identity. And it is also why protecting your Social Security number is the first step in preventing identity theft.

Safeguard your Social Security number. You should treat it as confidential information and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. Keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important personal papers. Do not carry it with you unless you need to show it to an employer or service provider. The fewer people with access to your number, the safer you are. The Connecticut Post Online - Social Security column

Linked by shanmuga Wednesday, 1st March 2006 6:22AM