10 Things You Need to Know to Prevent Identity Theft and a Stolen Social Security Deposit by 1-800-MEDIGAP(R)

DALLAS, April 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Social Security Direct Deposit Theft on the Rise - With modern technology where it is today, it is becoming increasingly easier for thieves to steal other people's identities. The following are ways of preventing this from happening.

10 Things You Need to Know to Prevent Identity Theft and a Stolen Social Security Deposit:

1) Always keep your purse or wallet with you. Leaving them in the car will invite thieves to break in and steal all of your important information. When woman are in a public place, they should never leave their purse hanging on the backs of their chairs. This is another easy target for a thief.

2) Social security cards, birth certificates, and check books should always be kept at home in a locked safe unless they are absolutely needed. The less personal information you have with you, the better.

3) As tempting as it may be, never give personal information out over the phone or through email. This is the number one way that thieves use to steal a person's identity who are on Social Security Insurance.

4) Go over your bank statements with a fine tooth comb each and every month. Anything that looks fishy should be reported to the bank immediately.

5) Obtain a copy of your credit report to check it for discrepancies. This will be easy to notice since you know exactly where your money has been spent for the past several months. If you find any errors, report it as soon as possible.

6) Consider using the help of a credit monitoring service. This is a company that will keep track of all 3 of your credit reports. They will alert you as soon as something has changed in any way.

7) Carry as few credit cards as possible. Know which one you will use that day and carry that one. Leave the others at home locked away in a safe.

8) Be cautious of people looking over your shoulder when you are using a calling card or a debit card with your PIN number. When using an ATM machine, try using the drive up machines at the bank. This will allow for more privacy and security.

9) If your mailbox sits out by the road, have a trusted neighbor who is home during the day retrieve your mail for you. Thieves love to use a person's mail to steal their identity.

10) Shred all of your important documents that contain your personal information. Thieves think nothing of digging through people's garbage to find personal information.

10 Things a Care Giver Should Watch for That May be Forms of Phishing or Identity Profile Building:

1) As a care giver, you should get involved in the person's major financial decisions. Elderly people in particular have a hard time following today's technology as far as Internet transactions are concerned.

2) Remind the patient never to hire someone who just shows up at their front door. If you did not call for their service, there is a chance that the person is trying to pull a scam.

3) If a salesperson refuses to provide written proof of the company he is from, or claims to have left it at the office, choose to do business with someone else.

4) Never allow a patient to give out any personal information over the phone. The elderly are quite commonly scammed by a caller claiming to be from a charitable organization or offering FREE STUFF.

5) If there is a caller who is claiming to be from a government organization and asking for money or personal information, tell them to request a certified letter on official government letterhead.

6) Regularly ask the patient about recent phone calls they may have received. Check their mail to see if there is an excessive amount of promotional mailings or telemarketing calls. This could indicate that they are already on what is known as a "sucker list."

7) Remind the patient that they must never make spur of the moment decisions when it comes to making a purchase. When the person says "you have to take the offer while the offer is good," that is indication that there is a scam involved. Legitimate companies never force perspective customers into making on the spot decisions.

8) Have your elderly patients avoid making any investments that make promises of huge profits. Get rich quick investments are almost always a scam, and their number one targets are the sweet and innocent elderly.

9) Ask your patient to always beware of the conversations that they may be having with strangers of any kind. Thieves are not above using children to get personal information from their victims.

10) Have your elderly patients put on the National Do Not Call Registry. This will cut down on the number of incoming solicitation calls, and decrease the chances of identity theft. To register for this free service, go to the website https://telemarketing.donotcall.gov

1-800-MEDIGAP ® works with individuals turning 65, and caregivers of individuals needing medicare supplement plans and we are hearing huge problems with identity theft. Please be careful when dealing with financial issues.

Media Contact: Jeff Cline 972.800.6670

This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com