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Identity Theft Tips from Frank Abagnale

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If you’ve seen Catch Me If You Can, you know who Frank Abagnale is and he recently shared some identity theft tips (basically the things he does to protect himself) with MarketWatch that are worth remembering.

  • Don’t use a debit card.
  • Use checks sparingly.
  • Use credit cards, because “card issuers do the most to shield consumers from fraud.” (and pay off your balance at the end of the month)
  • Use a credit bureau monitoring service that alerts you immediately via email (mail is too slow)
  • Use a microcut shredder to turn sensitive documents to dust, literally. Shred the back of catalogs too to avoid someone stealing your customer information.

Solid tips everyone should be following from a solid reformed criminal who was really good at it.

I don’t ever use a debit card because they offer no points or rewards for doing so, I avoid checks because they have all your sensitive information on it (account number, address, what else does a crook need?), and I use credit cards all the time. I use a crosscutting shredder, so not quite dust, but I don’t employ a monitoring service… maybe it’s time to consider it.

{ 3 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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3 Responses to “Identity Theft Tips from Frank Abagnale”

  1. Dennis says:

    I didn’t know about the use of Debit vs. Credit Cards.

    Thanks for the tips!

  2. Tim says:

    you’ll have to check with your bank on debit cards, the underlying principle is that someone can wipe out your account without having the zero-$50 fraud liability. my bank is good about fraud on debit cards if you catch it quickly. i use my debit card for under $15 purchases since i get 15cents for every POS charge on it. but i use cc for everything else b/c of the security concerns.

  3. Anonymous says:

    But with a credit card, crook can use your zip code instead of a pin number to get in.
    Why is there no protection from this weakness?


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