Well, it's that time of year again. Did you really think I was going to talk about New Year's resolutions? Come on...if you haven't already, in the next few weeks you'll be receiving year-end statements in the mail. This includes your bank statements telling you how much interest (probably not a lot) you received on your accounts, your 401(k) statements, 1099's and the like. Instituions are required to mail out statements by January 31st.
All of these statements have important information for tax purposes. They also contain important information for identity thieves. Make a list of all the statements you're supposed to receive; if you haven't received them by the first week in February, then call the institution that was supposed to send them; verify your latest activity, as it could have been initiated by a thief. It could be the thief redirected your mail. Or, it could be someone has intercepted your statement and is stealing your identity.
Here are some steps to avoid identity theft:
- If it's an option, start receiving your statements electronically
- It's more expensive and inconvenient, but get a P. O. Box at the post office.
- Make sure you pick up your mail daily; don't leave it sitting in your mail box for someone to come along and steal; you never know when Donald Trump might send you that $1,000,000 check
What precautions do you have in place to make sure your important documents get to you and to you only?