What’s in your wallet could ruin your credit

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by Mia Gradney / KHOU 11 News

wwltv.com

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 27 at 4:21 PM

HOUSTON—What’s in your wallet? If you’re carrying important documents with you at all times, you could be setting yourself up for disaster in the event your wallet is stolen.

KHOU 11 News recently spoke with some shoppers on a visit to Memorial City Mall. We found people with the normal—debit cards and little cash.

Mary, who visited the west Houston mall to return something, shared with us she leaves her Social Security card in her wallet, but consumer protection advocates advise you to leave home without it, as well as any other sensitive information.

With just your name and Social Security Number, identity thieves could do some serious damage.

Shopper Karen Yeager packs a small purse with an even slimmer wallet. She takes all precautions.

“I’ve been a victim of identity theft,” said Yeager. “It’s not good. You feel violated.”

Social Security cards, birth certificates, blank checks and anything with a number on it should obviously be purged from your wallet. However, there are those not-so-obvious things thieves could you use to their benefit—like receipts.

“My mom carries lots of receipts,” said teenager Ashley Henderson. “When she spends all of her stuff she goes home and makes sure it’s on her account and throws them away.”

Not a bad practice.

Businesses may not print anything containing your credit or debit cards expiration date or more than the last five digits of your card number, but a sophisticated thief could use the little numbers he or she has to phish for the rest of the info they need to assume your identity.

It’s best not to give them the chance. Clean out the clutter in your wallet and protect yourself.

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