11 Tips to Help Protect Yourself From Financial Exploitation
1: Do not provide your Social Security Number, account numbers, or other financial information to anyone who contacts you over the phone or through email.
2: Be sure to shred financial statements and pre-approved credit card offers before recycling them or discarding them.
3: Keep your checkbook, account statements, and other sensitive information out of sight when others will be in your home. All it takes is a quick photo taken with a cell phone to capture your account information for later use.
4: Pay with checks and credit cards instead of cash to keep a record of payments.
5: Do not write blank checks.
6: Do not rush into financial decisions. Request the details in writing and discuss your options with a trusted person before signing any documents.
7: Pay close attention to your finances so you can spot suspicious activity promptly.
8: Check references and credentials before hiring anyone. Don’t allow workers to have access to information about your finances.
9: Do not allow anyone who contacts you over the phone have remote access to your computer. Take your computer to a local reputable business if you need help.
10: Do not send money to someone you do not personally know and trust. Never wire money to anyone who contacts you over the phone or online even if they state that it is urgent.
11: Check your credit report at least once a year to ensure no new accounts or credit cards have been opened by identity thieves in your name. A free copy of your credit report is available to you. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228.