Saturday, December 31, 2005

Prevent Identity Theft with Processed Checks

Every time when you receive your stack of processed
checks along with your monthly statement in the mail box,
you're unknowingly increasing your odds of becoming an
identity theft victim.

Want some to know some easy ways to thwart those
identity thieves who use check fraud?

While it's certainly a preferred practice to shred
your statement and checks after you've reconciled your
monthly account, you can go even further by eliminating
the potential for an identity thief to steal your
information from your mail box.

  1. Most major banks now offer a number of on-line options
    for you to receive your statement via a secure website.
    Additionally, banks will also provide the ability for
    you to view (and print if necessary) an electronic version
    of your processed checks for tax receipt purposes.
  2. Plus, you can schedule automatic payment of your
    regularly reoccurring bills to further eliminate the
    need for paper invoices needing to be sent via postal
    mail where there's at least two opportunities each
    month for all of your personal information to be stolen.

(Side-note, one of our staffers was stung 4 years ago
by an identity theft ring which was operating with
disgruntled USPS mail employees)

So, our tip for today is to consider the following
steps to protect your banking and financial statements
from mail intercept methods of identity thieves:

  • Install a lockable mail box or better yet a mail slot
    on your front door which only allows your deposited
    mail to be accessed from inside your locked home.
  • Enroll with your bank's on-line bill payment service,
  • Opt out of receiving paper based statements each month
    from your banking, credit card, phone, Internet/DSL,
    cable, movie, power and electric service providers.
  • Request your checking statements to be delivered as
    on-line versions that only you can access via your
    bank's secure, password protected web site.
  • Finally, shred all of your old statements using a
    quality cross-cut shredder.


At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US Gov needs to make SSN secure with 164 bit encryption password only known by the SSN owner. Every time the SSN owner wants to identify himself, they will need to connect to a US Gov website and input their 164 bit password. Figure about four times per year to change bank accounts or take out a loan or mortgage. That way my SSN isn't valuable to an ID thief. My SSN can be on my drivers license and on my school student record without danger.


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