Scams and identity theft
August 4, 2017
Scams and identity theft affect people of all ages. To protect yourself:
- Guard your personal information. Before giving out any personal information, such as your Social Security number, cell phone number, or financial information, make sure you trust the person or organization you’re giving it to. (Beware that scam artists may call or send messages pretending to be someone you know to try to get information from you.) Also, don’t carry sensitive information in your wallet or purse unless you need it for a particular outing. Shred any important documents before throwing them away.
- Be wary if you’re asked to pay with wire transfers or gift cards. Con artists often ask their victims to pay using wire transfers or gift cards because once payment is provided, it is very difficult to trace or recover the money.
- Use strong passwords. A strong password is lengthy and complex. Make sure you use a different password for each account; don’t reuse passwords. If you think one of your accounts has been compromised, change the password to that account right away.
- Check your bank and credit card accounts regularly. Look for any errors or charges you don’t remember making. If you suspect unauthorized charges, immediately contact your bank or credit card provider.
- Review your credit report. Regularly checking your credit report can help you spot signs of potential identity theft. You can access a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting companies once a year using www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
If you have a consumer problem you can’t resolve on your own, or if your identity has been used fraudulently, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515.