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Keeping Good Records

One of the keys to keeping on top of identity theft is to stay one step ahead of the cretins who are after your good name. The best way to do this is by keeping good records:

  • Photocopy everything in your wallet. If your wallet is lost or stolen, you can easily contact the credit card companies and alert them. Don't forget to copy both sides of each card, and copy other important documents such as your passport or travel visas. Oh, and don't keep the photocopies in the wallet! Keep them in a safe place.

  • Check credit card statements carefully each month. Review your credit card statements carefully each month, and immediately report any suspicious activity or purchases.

  • Save your important financial documents. When it comes to sensitive financial information, be a packrat. Keep all your bank statements and credit card receipts, especially if you're disputing any transactions. Similarly, keep good records when you speak to any customer service representatives: Note the time/date of your call, the representative's name/extension/ID and what was discussed.

  • Get a shredder. Never throw away anything with personal or financial information without first passing it through a cross-cut shredder.

Keeping on top of your financial records will help you in the event that someone tries to steal your identity; you'll catch on more quickly than someone who has slacked off on recordkeeping.

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