Conscious shoppers can avoid identity theft

Many Americans fall victim to identity theft every year. If a crook gets a hold of your personal financial information, they can use your credit card to make large purchases and ruin your credit. However, you can avoid identify theft scams in 2011 by being a conscious and wise consumer.

One of the most common ways identity thieves acquire your personal information is through the web. You should never give out your credit card or Social Security numbers to suspicious websites or random pop-up windows.

Before signing a contract, make sure to review the terms and understand the provisions to which you are agreeing, according to the Ohio newspaper, the Dayton Daily News. Insist to have the contract in writing so you have tangible proof in case there is a mistake or the agreement is a scam. If you find the contract to be fishy make sure you do not hand over any of your personal information.

You should be cautious of mail that says you won money or offer you other hard-to-believe rewards. If you are urged to cash a check and return money to the sender, it is best not to, as they are usually counterfeit and illegal, the source said.

Being smart when shopping and dealing with other financial responsibilities can prevent you from becoming an identity theft victim. However, if you find yourself taken advantage of by identity theft and need credit repair to correct your damage, visiting a credit repair company could benefit you.