1. Use a close-fitting pouch and/or hidden wallet, instead of a purse.
2. Don’t carry your social security card, remove social security numbers from ID/health cards, and consider carrying a photocopy of your Medicare card with all but the last four digits blackened out.
3. Use a cross-cut shredder on all financial mail and documents.
4. Get a free copy of your credit report once a year. To ensure that there is no inaccurate information or unusual activities, contact the following:
(DO NOT use freecreditreport.com)
5. To report theft or unauthorized use of your credit card or SSN. Call:
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285, www.equifax.com
Experian: 1-888-397-3742, www.experian.com
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289, www.transunion.com
6. Don’t talk to strangers on the phone or at your door or who contact you on the street.
7. Sign up for the National DO NOT CALL Registry for both your home and cell phones at 1-888-382-1222 or www.donotcall.gov.
8. Request those with whom you have established business relationships to put you on their “Do Not Call” and “Opt Out” lists.
9. “OPT OUT” of credit reporting agencies’ credit card solicitation marketing lists: 1-888-567-8688 or on www.optoutprescreen.com.
10. Make an annual charitable giving plan and do not give to charities who solicit by telephone or door-to-door.
11. Get three written bids before contracting for home improvement; check out contractors with the Better Business Bureau; and don’t do business with door-to-door contractor.
12. Never sign a contract/document or make an investment decision without getting a second opinion from a trusted advisor.
13. Consult with an attorney to discuss ‘advance directives’ and set up checks/balances so that no one person has total control over you.
14. Don’t’ play direct mail sweepstakes or talk to telemarketers.