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Protect yourself from identity theft

Individuals 03.17.2023 4 MIN

According to the credit monitoring bureau Experian, 1 in 20 Americans have their identity stolen each year, with total fraud losses of nearly 17 billion annually.1 With statistics like these, it’s definitely worth taking steps to help keep your identity, and your assets, safer.

Tips to help protect your identity

Monitor your credit reports

Look for any unauthorized financial transactions on your existing accounts and check to see if any new lines of credit have been opened or applied for in your name. The sooner you identify possible fraud on your accounts, the sooner you can stop further fraud and start an investigation into those fraudulent transactions.


Review your financial statements regularly

This is a good practice anyway, because you can not only ensure that all transactions were authorized by you, but that the amounts charged are correct. If anything looks suspicious, notify your creditor or financial institution immediately. If it turns out that a transaction was legitimate (I did buy that leaf blower!) there’s no harm in having double-checked a transaction. If you find evidence of fraud, you can freeze your account to stop any additional charges.


Collect your mail each day

It’s easy to forget, especially as so many of our transactions are online and automatic, but we still get financial statements and other documents with account numbers and sensitive information in our mailboxes! If you are going away, have someone collect your mail or ask the post office to hold your mail until you return. The data on statements that arrive in mail can be used to set up fraudulent accounts like credit cards.


Make sure your Social Security Number stays secure

This may seem obvious, but one good way to keep your Social Security Number (SSN) secure is to not keep it in your wallet. Put it somewhere safe and be very careful about supplying this number to others, especially online.


Did you know?

You can request a free copy of your credit report from major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion)2 once a year. If you are denied credit, you can request a free copy of your credit report from the credit agency that issued the denial. Reviewing your report, not just for irregularities, but to track your credit score and spending patterns can be helpful in general financial planning, even if you aren’t worried that your identity has been stolen.


Identity theft can be serious and take time to remedy. Think of checking your credit reports and accounts for fraud as one part of the financial checkup you routinely perform to make sure your financial plan is healthy. You can use this checkup to also look at your financial goals, such as being on track for retirement, building your emergency fund, or tuning up a plan to pay down debt or save for something special, like a dream vacation. Reach out to your Financial Wellness coach today to help better understand your overall financial picture . After you create a financial plan that works for you and your goals, incorporate checking financial accounts for “irregularities” in the same way you track the “gains” you’ve made with your other financial goals.

If you have Goldman Sachs Ayco Personal Financial Management as a company benefit, register, log in or download our Goldman Sachs Wellness app to learn more about this and other financial wellness topics.



2 Note: Any reference to an Internet site sponsored and maintained by third parties (the ”Site”) is provided solely as a convenience to you, and does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship, or affiliation by The Ayco Company, L.P. or its affiliates. Ayco has not reviewed or tested any information, software, or products found on the Site, and therefore makes no representations regarding the content or sponsors of the Site or the suitability or appropriateness of the products or transactions described therein.