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BBB offers advice after recent mailbox thefts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Two people are facing charges after being caught on camera stealing mail from a federal mailbox. Now the Better Business Bureau of Louisville offers tips on protecting against identity theft.

Scammers can use stolen mail to steal someone’s identity, fake loan or credit card applications in the victim’s name, withdraw money from the victim’s bank account, or obtain services at victim’s name. This personal information may also be sold online.

The BBB said to look for unexplained withdrawals, fees and accounts. Regularly review bank accounts and credit card statements.

Also, know when bills are due. A clue to identity theft is when people stop receiving certain bills. This can happen because scammers have changed the address associated with your bank account or credit card.

If bills don’t arrive on time, follow up with creditors. Debt collectors can call for debts that don’t belong to you. Automatic alerts can also be set up on accounts so that users are notified whenever a transaction is made.

Remember to regularly check credit reports for unauthorized inquiries and accounts. In the United States, people have the right to check their credit report with each of the three major credit bureaus once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com.

It is the only free credit report service authorized by the Federal Trade Commission. If these checks are spaced out throughout the year, people will know fairly quickly if something is wrong.

Be sure to shred any documents that contain bank account information, a Social Security or Social Insurance number, or other personal information. These include credit card applications, insurance forms, financial statements, health forms, and utility and telephone billing statements.

Also cut up expired credit and debit cards, making sure to cut out the numbers, before disposing of them.

WAVE – Louisville and southern Indiana NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @wave3news.(VAGUE)

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