After serving our country, arriving home is a joyous occasion. As you return from deployment, use this checklist to help you monitor and reclaim your assets, as well as prevent identity theft.
Reserve power of attorney so you can handle your own finances.
Review and update all signature authorities.
Check your credit.
Request a free copy of your credit report from one of the three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs):
Keep records of all your calls and letters to these companies.
Review the report carefully, looking for inaccuracies, suspicious information, or accounts and credit inquiries you did not authorize. Request a free credit report every four months.
Remove any limits placed on your credit account when you deployed.
Contact one of the three CRAs and request that the "Active Duty Alert" be removed from your account. Request that they contact the other two CRAs on your behalf.
Notify the IRS of your return.
Check the tax returns you may have filed while you were serving, and resolve any lingering tax issues.
Change your passwords.
It is good practice to change your account details every few months. Upon returning home, take time to change the passwords on your accounts. Make sure these passwords are a strong combination of letters and numbers.
Never share your passwords or logins.
Be wary of scams.
Service men and women are frequently targeted by scams promising military discounts, insurance offers, and prizes. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Never give out personal information over the phone.
To check the validity of an offer or claim, check with a reputable veteran service organization.
Protect your documents.
Store your Social Security card, insurance information, birth certificate, tax records, and other sensitive information in a safe, a safety deposit box, or other secure location.
Any documents with personally identifying information which you no longer need should be shredded. Many banks and other local businesses offer free "shred days" for those who do not have a shredder at home.
Funded by a partnership with the Texas Legislature, and powered by the Center for Identity, IDWise is a resource center for the public on identity theft, fraud, and privacy.