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Stay Smart. Stop Scams.

Identity theft affects millions of people each year and can cause serious financial and identity related issues. According to the Social Security Administration, following please find ten ways to protect your personal information:

1. Don't believe calls, emails, texts, or any message that say you need to immediately pay to resolve a problem. 2. Protect your Social Security number by keeping your card in a safe place at home. Don't carry it around with you or provide it unnecessarily. 3. Be careful when you speak with unknown callers. Scammers may use legitimate phone numbers or the real names of officials to mislead you. 4. Never give out your personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited call or message. 5. Shred paper that contains personal information, such as your name, birthdate and Social Security number. 6. Regularly check your financial accounts for suspicious transactions. 7. Request and check a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus every year: Transunion, Equifax and Experien. 8. Install and maintain strong anti-virus software on all your devices-including your smartphone, personal computer and tablet. Don't fall for tech support scams, including pop-up warnings. If you need help fixing a problem on your computer, take it to someone you know and trust. 9. Create strong passwords so others can't easily access your accounts. 10. Never click on a link sent in an unsolicited email or text message-type in the web address yourself. Only provide information on secure websites.

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