Credit cards, checks, chatting over the phone are all now prone to becoming a victim of identity theft. So even when you talk to your friends, never reveal any account number, credit card number or detail. The thieves are always one step ahead of the cops as they used to say in the earlier days. Well, it still holds good.

The best way to protect your identify, your credit cards, and other such vulnerable articles is to keep it to yourself. Yes, yourself ONLY. If you receive in the mail an account of your billings, read it through, and check if there is any thing that you did not buy.

Immediately inform your credit card provider of loss or theft, or even misplacement of your card. That will immediately block the usage of the credit card. If you have misplaced it and find it later, talk to the credit card operator, or better still go to their office, which is safer. Reporting credit card loss is okay. Don’t try to renew the same card. It is better to pay for the issuance of another card.

Your check stub gives away details of your unique check numbers, and through that, the real con artist will construct your account and away he goes with your money! Keep them locked.

When in the bank, always use your body to shield the details you are putting down. Hand it over only at the counter or to the representative who has been assigned to you. Keep your bank statements under lock and key.

A new way that is being tried for transactions online is to key in certain multiple grid numbers that now come with the ATM/Credit cards. Apart from the information sought, it will ask you for a random sampling of numbers. Take time, and give it by looking at the grid at the back. Get the numbers right, and you are most probably having a secure transaction. Most Probably. The con artists will try to find another way, and again, we have to go through the same process.

When taking a slip to sign, check the amount put in. Some establishments, or rather their employees try to skim extra money when you give the credit card. Keep it in sight. If they put it down on their desk, ask them to put it where you can see it. Insist on it. After swiping, make sure they give you two slips. Sign them after checking the amount, and return one, repeat one, to them, and keep the other slip with you, again safely. Should a dispute arise about the purchase, you can show your copy of the transaction.

If you are using banking through your internet, check the site. It may be a clone. Try to give a minor variation of your password. If it accepts that, then that’s a FRAUD site. Alter your password as frequently as you can. The real authentic site would not allow even a small error. The best way to protect yourself is to by using a credit monitoring service that will alert you of any activity under your name.