Identity theft is on the rise, and drivers and owner-operators are not immune to this crime. As a truck driver, you carry sensitive information such as your Social Security number, license, and insurance details, making you vulnerable to identity theft.
We’ve compiled five effective strategies to safeguard your information and assets from identity theft. By implementing these practices, you’ll have peace of mind and the ability to focus on what you do best: driving.
So, let’s dive into the details and explore how you can better protect yourself from this all-too-common incident:
1. Know Who Has Your Information
As a driver or owner-operator, you must be cautious when sharing sensitive information such as SSNs, licenses, and insurance details. To protect yourself from identity theft, regularly perform an audit of who you’ve given this information to and consider its necessity.
If you receive unsolicited requests for such data by email, mail, or phone, be wary and avoid disclosing the information without verifying the requester’s identity and legitimacy.
For example, if you receive an email that looks like it’s from your insurance provider asking for your SSN, don’t provide it without contacting your provider directly to verify the request.
ATC Tip: Maintain a list of trusted contacts and their verified phone numbers, ensuring easy access to accurate information while on the road.
2. Shred Personal Documents
Sensitive documents like invoices, receipts, and waybills contain personal details that could be used by identity thieves if found in your trash or recycling bin. To prevent this, use a cross-cut shredder to destroy these papers before disposing of them. This will ensure your private information remains secure and inaccessible to potential criminals.
For instance, canceled checks, bills, credit card receipts, and other documents containing your banking information should all be shredded.
ATC Tip: Keep a portable shredder in your truck’s cabin or a dedicated area at home for easy document disposal.
3. Beware of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams via unsolicited calls, emails, or texts are a common method fraudsters use to gain private information or payment from drivers and owner-operators. Always be vigilant and never provide sensitive data or click on suspicious links without confirming the source’s legitimacy.
Emails disguised as notifications from your bank or transportation management software could include malicious links.
ATC Tip: Enable two-factor authentication on your sensitive accounts and educate yourself on phishing prevention tactics to stay safe from these scams.
4. Freeze Your Credit
Freezing your credit is a proactive measure you can take to block new accounts from being opened in your name. Lifting a freeze is relatively easy when needed, but it adds a crucial layer of protection against identity theft.
For example, Suppose your wallet with all your identification and credit cards is stolen. In that case, having a credit freeze in place prevents the thief from using your information to open new accounts.
ATC Tip: Visit the websites of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to request a credit freeze and learn more about the process.
5. Equip Your Vehicle
Install a GPS tracking device and cameras in and around your vehicle to prevent theft of anything bearing your name or credentials. Documenting the make, model, and serial numbers of your valuable equipment can also be helpful in case of theft.
For instance, dashboard cameras and GPS tracking devices simultaneously offer theft deterrence and evidence should theft occur.
ATC Tip: Research and invest in reliable tracking devices and security cameras designed specifically for trucking businesses and drivers, optimizing safety and peace of mind while on the road.
Protect yourself from Identity Theft with ATC
Protecting your identity should be a top priority as a driver or owner-operator.
Although identity theft is a pervasive threat in the digital age, these proactive measures can be taken to minimize the risk. By following the tips and recommendations outlined above, drivers and owner-operators can stay one step ahead of fraudsters.
Remember, the first step to combating identity theft is knowledge and preparedness.
Stay vigilant and prioritize your safety by contacting us today.