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BBB Tip of the Week: What’s your IQ on ID theft?

What’s your IQ on ID theft? As National Consumer Protection Week draws to a close, ask yourself if you’re at risk for ID theft. I myself scored 45 on this quiz from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Not bad, but I could do better. Take the test yourself:

___ I receive pre-approved credit offers every week. (5 points)

___ I don’t shred them before trashing them. (5)

___ I carry my Social Security card in my wallet. (10)

___ I use a computer without up-to-date anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection. (10)

___ I don’t believe someone would break in to steal my personal information. (10)

___ I haven’t ordered my credit reports for at least two years. (20)

___ I use an unlocked box at work or home to drop off outgoing mail. (10)

___ I don’t have a P.O. Box or locked, secured mailbox. (5)

___ I carry my military ID in my wallet. (10)

___ I don’t shred my banking and credit information before trashing it. (10)

___ I throw away old credit/debit cards without cutting them up. (5)

___ I don’t examine my ATM machine for tampering. (5)

___ I provide my Social Security Number without asking why it’s needed and how it will be safeguarded. (10)

___ I provide it verbally without checking to see who might be listening. (5)

___ I respond to unsolicited email appearing to be from my bank or credit card company. (10)

___ I leave my purse in my car. (10)

___ I have my driver’s license number or SSN printed on my checks. (10)

___ I carry my Medicare card in my wallet. (10)

___ I don’t believe people would dig through my trash looking for financial information or documents containing my SSN. (10)

___ I don’t verify the accuracy of all financial statements monthly. (10)

How did you do?

• 100+ points: high risk. You may want to purchase a cross-cut paper shredder, handle documents more securely, and start questioning why people need your personal data.

• 50-99: moderate risk. Your odds of being victimized are about average.

• 0-49: low risk. You have a high “IQ.” Keep up the good work and don’t let your guard down.

Check your three credit reports yearly. Get free credit reports from (877) 322-8228 or

More info or report scams: Visit the BBB at Call (509) 455-4200 or (800) 356-1007.

Holly Doering, BBB editor

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