Coverage for such claims is included in many policies, so please check with us before buying a separate service from a credit card company. Fortunately, there are more protections than ever to help eliminate identity theft claims and/or reduce the time and expense of repairing the damage. If you know anyone who has had to deal with this issue, especially while on vacation or during a holiday period, you know why these simple steps suggested by Chubb Insurance are worth considering:
- Don’t disclose personal information to strangers. Never give personal information to anyone who has called you on the phone, no matter who they say they are.
- Safeguard personal documents. Find a safe, secure place to keep your credit and debit cards, checkbook and Social Security card. Use a shredder to destroy any unneeded documents containing personal identifying information, especially credit card applications.
- Handle financial transactions online. This may seem counterintuitive, but identity thieves love to steal mail, especially from unsecured mailboxes.
- Watch for “shoulder surfers” at ATMs and when you are using a laptop computer in public places. Be mindful of your surroundings and skeptical of motives by nearby “viewers.”
- Never carry your Social Security card or write your Social Security Number on checks.
- Keep anti-virus software and firewalls and all programs current to protect your computer from unwanted intrusions.
- Trust your instincts. When in doubt about giving out confidential information, err on the side of “less is more.”