Law enforcement officials offer these tips to prevent identity theft:
Tear up or shred credit card or bank account receipts or statements that you discard. "Dumpster diving" for these documents is a common source of ID theft.
Beware of offers where you're asked to put up money as a deposit or security, or to provide personal information.
Don't carry Social Security card with you.
Remove mail from mailbox immediately.
Secure online accounts with a password.
Cancel unused credit accounts.
If credit card or other bills don't arrive on time, follow up with the creditor.
If you think you've been a victim of identity theft: File a report with local law enforcement agencies.
Contact creditors immediately. You may want to close accounts that have been tampered with.
Contact credit bureaus to place fraud alerts on compromised accounts.
File a complaint with the Ohio State Attorney General's Office, www.ag.state.oh.us, and Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov.