How you can prevent identity theft

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that nearly 9,000,000 Americans have their identity stolen each year. Meaning, someone has used personally identifying information, like name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

Identity theft is serious and the consequences can be monumental. Many people don’t realize they have been victimized until they review their credit report, find charges on a credit card statement that don’t make sense or start getting calls from debt collectors.

By then, it’s too late. The damage is done and there may be more bad news on the way as other unscrupulous activities in their name are revealed.

Yet there are a number of steps you can take to minimize the risk of identity theft. Some are as easy as creating complex passwords and cleaning out your wallet! Others require a minimum investment in a shredder or lockable file cabinet. But, they are all do-able.

For 10 easy tips on how you can avoid identify theft check out this list from

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