Bridgewater, NJ, May 02, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- According to a recent report released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), for the 11th year in a row identity theft topped the agency’s list of top consumer complaints received. In 2010, of 1,339,265 complaints received, 250,854 – or 19 percent – were related to identity theft.
Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company is recommending some simple tips to help protect consumers from this devastating crime. Make them a habit to lower your risk.
Keep Information Safe: Do not give identity thieves a chance.
- Shred documents with personal information (including account numbers, your Social Security number, or date of birth).
- Protect your Social Security number. Do not carry your Social Security card with you, in case your wallet or purse becomes lost or gets stolen, and do not write it on your checks.
- Only give out personal information if you know the person or group you are dealing with and you initiated the contact – whether by phone, mail, or Internet.
- Instead of clicking the link in an unsolicited email, type in the Web address yourself. (Email links can redirect you to a scammer's site, tricking you into entering personal information in an unsafe place.)
- Make your password hard to guess. Choices like your date of birth, mother's maiden name, or Social Security number are too obvious. Instead, try a random or made-up word, and include at least one number. And make sure you change your password frequently.
Be on the Lookout for Problems: Keep an eye on your accounts so you can spot suspicious activity right away.
- Pay close attention to credit card or account statements that you did not expect to receive, which could be a sign that someone has opened an account in your name.
- Look out for mail or bills that do not arrive when you expected, which might mean someone has taken your mail.
- Pay close attention to your monthly statements, double checking that all the charges and activity are accurate.
Defend Yourself as Soon as You Notice a Problem: No matter how careful you are, there is always some risk of identity theft. That is why Allstate's Identity Restoration Coverage provides high-quality fraud assistance, handling everything from proactive fraud alerts to inquiries from creditors. From the moment customers contact Allstate, a personal fraud specialist helps lock down their personal information and restores any damage to their identity.
“We realize that identity theft is nothing new, but the 'digital age' has made it easier than ever to gather, organize, and transmit large amounts of information — including the credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and account information that identity thieves need to commit their crimes,” said Walter Tomasheski, Allstate New Jersey spokesperson. “So, it is important to take the steps you need to protect your identity.”
For approximately $40 a year, Identity Restoration Coverage offers unlimited access to fraud specialists from Identity Theft 911®, one of nation's leaders in identity management and fraud education.
For more information, or to speak with a local Allstate New Jersey agent about Identity Restoration Coverage, call 888-621-6900.
About Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company:
Known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company and its affiliates help individuals in more than a half million New Jersey households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow through approximately 270 agents and financial representatives. Customers can access Allstate New Jersey products and services through Allstate agencies, or at allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. The Allstate Financial Group provides life insurance, supplemental accident and health insurance, annuity, banking and retirement products designed for individual, institutional and worksite customers that are distributed through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, financial institutions and broker-dealers.