Feb 20, 2009

Identity Theft Cautions for New Homeowners

US_IDT1.jpgGetting the mail delivered to one's new home is always a nice confirmation -- the place is really yours, even the delivery person recognizes it!

But what type of box is that mail coming to? If it's outdoors and unsecured, you may be opening yourself up to identity theft. Enterprising thieves can steal your bank statements, tax documents, and more, thus gaining all the information they need to drain your accounts or take out new credit cards and loans. Investing in a locking mailbox might need to be one of your first steps as a homeowner.

And then there's the matter of your outgoing trash -- another possible gold mine for thieves. Make sure to shred or rip out any sensitive personal information in your papers, particularly anything with your Social Security number.

With a little knowledge and preparation, you don't have to be a victim. That's the subject of Nolo's new book, Stopping Identity Theft, by Scott Mitic, an expert in the field and CEO of TrustedID, Inc. You'll find tips on dealing with all kinds of identity theft issues, not only around your house, but while shopping, traveling, surfing the Web, and more. I learned more than a few things about how to protect myself and my family by reading it!