Safeguard your wallet against identity theft
Tue, 30 Aug 2011 03:20:32 GMT —
Whether in the pocket or over the shoulder, people make sure not to leave home without their wallet or purse, but the contents inside may set them up for identity theft without them knowing. Albany officials say a social security card on the go is a no no.
"I do have a habit of carrying my Social Security card," said Albany Shopper, Katrina Acton.
"Never carry you or your children Social Security card unless you have a reason for them to be there," said Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Captain Craig Dodd.
Only carry these items if you're going to the hospital or Social Security office. If this information were to get in the wrong hands, someone could open a credit card in your name, leaving you with an unknown debt to pay.
Officials advise against carrying passports or thumb drives because they also have personal information that can be used against you.
A mistake that many people make and may forget that they are doing is leaving passwords in their wallet. Sitting next usernames and credit cards, it can be a recipe for disaster.
"It just doesn't make any sense. You're basically giving these people that want to steal from you an opportunity to steal even more," said Captain Dodd.
One shopper says her recollection is sharp enough so that she won't have to rely on notes.
"I do not keep my passwords anywhere in my purse. I've memorized those and hopefully I won't forget them anytime soon," said Katrina Acton.
Many people may feel like they need them, but checkbooks can also reveal personal information. A person's address, bank account, and possibly imprints of a signature may be displayed. So instead of carrying the whole book, tear off one check if you feel like you'll need it and leave the rest at home.
"I don't use checks just cards, bank cards for everything," said Shopper, Deni Favela.
But having too many of those can be a problem. If a purse gets stolen, you may have to wait weeks until more cards come in the mail. Officials say taking a few moments to check your wallet could save you time and money in the end.