Social Security & Credit
Social Security Information
- Do not carry your Social Security card with you unless you need it for a job application.
- Release your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary or when required by law.
- Ask the requestor if another identification number can be used instead.
- Never print your Social Security number on your checks.
- If your workplace displays your Social Security number on a time card or other place open to public view, ask to have this procedure changed.
- If you are over age 25, you should receive a Social Security statement by mail each year. Check your statement thoroughly and report any inaccuracies to the Social Security Administration.
You can order a copy of your Social Security statement by accessing the Social Security website.
Order a copy of your credit report at least once a year from each of the three credit bureaus listed in the credit reporting bureaus webpage to check for inaccuracies or fraudulent use of accounts. Even if you have not been the victim of identity theft, consider asking the credit bureaus to place a security alert on your account as a protective measure. This alert instructs creditors to call you personally to verify applicant information. While this will mean that you can no longer get instant credit, such as on-site approval for store charge cards, it will also stop others from getting credit in your name. Be sure to ask how long the alert will be in effect and how to extend it if necessary.
Credit / ATM / Debit Cards
Reduce the number of credit cards you use and only carry the cards that you intend to use. Use credit cards that have your photo on them. This makes it more difficult for an imposter to use stolen cards at a store. If you receive an offer for a pre-approved credit card or loan but aren't interested, shred the application form before throwing it away.