Fraud Watch: Tips to avoid identity theft - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Fraud Watch: Tips to avoid identity theft

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HELENA - Scammers have more ways to steal your personal information than ever before thanks to the proliferation of personal electronics these days which gives them access to your money.

MTN News has some timely tips on how to prevent identity theft in this edition of Fraud Watch.

The Holy Grail for ID thieves is your Social Security number so instead of keeping it in your wallet or purse, lock it in a safe place.

Another important document to secure is your checkbook because each check contains a lot of personal information, including your address, phone number, account number and banking routing number.

If you're not going to use your checkbook, keep it safe at home, and consider using a debit card instead.

Speaking of cards, every month check your credit card statements carefully to make sure you haven't been scammed. If there are charges you don't recognize, you might need to contact the credit card company.

Many of us shop on-line these days on tablets. If you're checking out Amazon in public, make sure someone isn't looking over your shoulder -- something called shoulder surfing.

Additionally, if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from a company saying you owe them money right away, be skeptical, ask questions, hang up and call the company back to make sure that you owe them what they say.

Anyone with questions or concerns about ID theft can contact the Montana Office of Consumer Protection.

“But if you can stop this stuff in it's path by making the right decisions and we can help you with that, you should call our office first and you shouldn't hesitate. We love those calls," said Montana Assistant Attorney General Chuck Munson.

Click here to visit the Montana Officer of Consumer Protection website.

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