The Houston Police Department wants to remind citizens to protect their identities and financial information this holiday season.
The upcoming holiday season is a time of year when people are busy, tend to be distracted and are making more purchases than normal. The department offers the following tips to prevent identity theft:
- Do not carry your social security card
- Be aware of what personal information you put on social media
- Make strong passwords that don’t include personal information
- Regularly change your password every couple of months
- Click with caution. Before you buy from a website you are not familiar with, check to see if it is a verified site or research other consumers’ experiences
- Check your credit report annually for free, and closely monitor your bank accounts
- Never give personal information over the phone, through mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated contact and know who you are speaking with
- Never send money to receive money
Lieutenant C. Lohse, an investigator with HPD’s Financial Crimes Unit, talks about why this time of year is most popular for identity thieves on the HPD YouTube Channel.
This initiative is part of HPD’s “Help Us, Help You” campaign aimed at sharing information and educating citizens on crime prevention and everyday tips related to public safety in our city.