Tips On Protecting Your Identity When Out Shopping

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, and it roughly affects 15 million people every year. However, becoming a victim of identity theft is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re doing your holiday or back-to-school shopping. Unfortunately, people like yourself are exactly who identity thieves target. These thieves are looking for distracted and unsuspecting shoppers to take advantage of. Take a look at the following tips in order to protect yourself.

Protect your social security number at all times. In fact, when you go out shopping, make it a point to leave your Social Security card at home. With this group of numbers an identity thief can open up numerous credit card accounts without you even knowing. Besides, if your purse or wallet is stolen, your Social security card will be safe.

You should also be wary about giving out your social security number to cashiers. Yes, these workers are employees who are meant to help you. However, these are also strange people who are handling your personal information. If you’re asked to sign up for a store credit card, and you need to provide your social security number, simply tell the cashier you’d rather do it online.

When you’re using your credit card, debit card, or driver’s license in line, be aware of the people around you. Thieves are keeping a close eye on your personal information, so you should do the same. If you need to use your credit or debit card, make sure to conceal the names and numbers on each card. When you’re entering your pin number, make it a point to cover the keypad. Doing these things may sound ridiculous, but it’s better to be safe than sorry with id protection.

You’re probably thinking that you’d do better by just shopping online. However, online shopping comes with its own dangers. Identity thieves send spam emails and files for you to download so that your computer can be compromised. They even set up fake business sites in order to collect your personal information. Identity thieves have a variety of tactics they use to steal from their victims. You have to take it upon yourself to make it more difficult for them to do so.