We have all read about the nightmare stories of the growing problem of identity theft...

You've probably even seen one of the many commercials from credit card companies or software made to help deter identity theft.

So how do you protect yourself?

The most common ways that your information is stolen according to the Federal Trade Commission are:

·       Dumpster Diving: Thieves sift through your trash to find personal information such as credit cards or social security numbers.

·       Skimming: They grab your credit card information when you swipe it at a store using special software.

·       Change Your Address: They divert your billing to a new address so you are unaware of the fraudulent charges being made in your name.

·       Phishing: They use fraudulent emails and pop-ups on the internet to get you to disclose private information.

You may be surprised to find out that only one of these methods is online and that all but one is preventable.

Here are a few ways you can prevent ID theft:

1.     Buy a shredder: Shred all financial documents and paperwork with sensitive personal data.

2.     Don't give out personal information using an email or over the phone.

3.     Keep sensitive data out of your passwords so that it is not something others might guess or see.

Also, look for the bills you should be getting. Credit cards don't miss sending out a bill so if you don't get one be on the lookout.

Make sure you scan each item shown as a charge on your bank and credit cards accounts--some thieves use small charges frequently to keep the fraud ongoing.

Report any suspected fraud immediately to the FTC: call or visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

All of us here at Doubleday Insurance Agency, Inc. hope all of your private information stays secure.

Most auto insurance or home insurance policies now carry some form of ID Theft coverage. Call us to make sure yours does too.

As your agent and trusted adviser, please give me a call if you have any questions regarding your protection.  515-964-0637 or 888-464-0637