Beverly Butler: Hi! I am Beverly with Wells Fargo and Company. Today we are going to learn how to keep identity thieves from getting your personal information from the mail.
This is one of the most common ways that identity theft occurs. You can eliminate most of your personal information from being sent through the mail by signing up to receive online statements for all of your credits cards and other bills and statements.
Using online banking and bill paying will enable you to send payments electronically and you won't have to worry about identity thieves stealing your incoming or outgoing mail. Online banking will allow you to monitor your account activity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Make sure you never tell anyone your online banking password and change it periodically. Also don't use your social security number as your online banking user name or password.
If you do continue to receive your bills and other important financial information through the mail, you need to realize that identity thieves are on the look out to steal your incoming and outgoing mail and will go through your trash and look in your mail box to get your personal information.
Here are some steps that will help slow them down. Notify the post office immediately if you change your address. Get a mail box you must unlock with a key. Don't leave your mail for long periods of time in visible unguarded areas.
When you are going out of town put a hold on your mail or have someone you trust pick it up for you. Put outgoing mail in a secure USPS mail box or hand it directly to a uniform USPS mail carrier.
If you stop receiving mail, contact the post office immediately, if you stop receiving bills from a company, contact the company immediately. You should review your statements both in paper and online as soon as you receive them to detect suspicious activity.
If you take these steps to protect your identity it will reduce your risk of having your identity stolen through the mail.