Scammers are eager to take advantage of the money you saved and your good credit. There are steps you can take to protect yourself:
– Review your credit reports frequently, be certain that the information is both correct and that no one has opened an account in your name.
– Place a credit freeze in place to ensure that no new credit can be opened in your name without your consent and acknowledgment.
– Do not carry your Social Security Card with you. If asked to provide the number, decline to do so unless you are absolutely certain that the person taking the information is legitimate.
– The IRS, mortgage companies, Social Security, Computer Companies etc… never contact you by phone directly. Provide no information, hang up and block caller.
– Vendors that come to your home, for example, to do roof replacement etc… often request payment ahead of providing the work for supplies etc… Not all, but some, will never return after cashing your check. Roofers, for example, will also tell you that they are licensed. There are no licences for roofers.
– Check the credentials of your financial adviser at email@example.com
– Check the status of your real estate professional at trec.org
– Make sure that your Wi-Fi is password protected.
– Pay special attention to passwords and keep a record of user name and password
– Ensure that computers are running with latest generation virus protection and that the vendor provides continued updates. Virus protection should be set to run daily at a specific time, usually when you are not likely to be using your computer.
– Get a safe deposit box for valuable and for important papers such as title to your home, car etc.
This information is not a complete list of what needs to be done but it is a good start.