KENNEWICK, Wash.-Identity theft is a continual problem in the Tri-Cities, and the first few months of each year make it the most risky time to receive mail. Most scammers know that around this time, people are receiving end-of-the-year financial forms that contain personal information.
"The scammers are out there looking for your personal information. It can be name, address phone numbers, social security numbers is a big one," says Normal Miller, Better Business Bureau.
Your mailbox is a goldmine for scammers. Once they get your information whether it is a bank statement, account number or even your address, they can create a profile under your name.
"Not all of it [profile] is going to be correct, but if they get enough of it correct they can open lines of credit under your name and theirs," says Miller.
She does have tips to protect yourself: Check for any expected bills. Grab mail as soon as it arrives. Shred anything with personal information.
"The more information that you can keep private the better off you're going to be," says Miller.
For more information: http://www.bbb.org/us/storage/0/Shared%20Documents/secure%20your%20id%20day/everyday%20habits.pdf