Wisconsin residents have thought more about identity theft since the Equifax data breach in 2017. Early this year, the credit bureau reached a settlement, but that does not mean the impact stops for those affected by the breach. There are a few ways to prevent and monitor personal information from thieves.
USA.gov offers several ways consumers can protect their identity. Keep personal information including social security cards in a safe place. Mail often has personal information, so checking it daily or placing a hold on it while away can protect the information. Take the time to review all accounts for any behavior out of the ordinary.
Instead of using the same tried and true password, go for the complex passwords. Any company can be a victim of a data breach handing over those passwords along with other information. Invest in a shredder that can handle both paper and credit cards to keep personal information from getting into the hands of dumpster divers.
The Federal Trade Commission offers consumers a list of warning signs that their identity may be compromised. Unexplained bank withdrawals, legitimate medical claims rejected by health insurance, bills arrive for services never done, additional income tax returns filed or failure to receive medical insurance due to fraudulent medical history claims can all point to identity theft.
Keeping an eye on their credit report can alert consumers of unexplained accounts never opened. There are steps a consumer can take if they have been a victim of identity theft. Wisconsin has stringent laws to protect residents from fraudulent business practices.