Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Steps You Can Take To Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

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Safeguard Your Social Security Number and Other Personal Information

Be careful giving out your personal information over the phone, through mail, or email. Thieves can pose as bankers, government officials, or others to get you to reveal your Social Security number or your bank account number. Specifically, be sure to protect your:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Credit Card numbers
  • Bank account information
  • Passwords
  • Other personal information about yourself

Review Account and Billing Statements Frequently

Review your billing statements frequently. If you notice an error, contact your financial institution right away.

Collect Your Mail Promptly

Guard your mail from thieves. Pick up your mail from your mailbox as soon as possible. If you’re going to be out of town, consider having the post office hold your mail or ask a friend to pick up your mail.

Shred Your Documents

Keep items with your personal information safe. When you throw away receipts, credit card applications, or old checks or billing statements, make sure to shred them first.

Choose Hard To Crack Passwords and PIN Numbers

When you set up passwords and Personal Identification Number or PIN for your ATM or debit card, don’t use a password or number that a person could easily associate with you, such as a birth date, Social Security number, or phone number. Use passwords and PIN numbers only you can recall and change them frequently.

Password Protect Your Cell Phone

Enable the security features on your mobile devices, especially if you have contacts, banking websites, and applications saved.

Monitor Your Credit Report

Order a copy of your credit report every year at Report any errors right away to the credit bureau and the company.