Identity Theft continues to be a problem in today's world and many people are still unaware of how they continue to put themselves in harm's way. Criminals and people with nefarious intentions are everywhere, in both the real world and digital, these people are looking to take advantage of you.

Even though New Jersey is on the list of Top Ten Most Money Scammed Online, your digital security is not the only threat. There are still people who will break into your vehicle or try to swipe your phone and wallet if you are not vigilant.

Two of the biggest types of Identity Theft involve Credit Card Fraud and Auto Lending Synthetic Fraud.  But the people who perpetrate these crimes don't need to access your computer or smartphone to steal your identity.

Here are seven items you may carry in your wallet, purse, or backpack every day that puts you in danger of theft:

Spare House Key
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

*Spare House Key
Sounds like a great idea in theory, that you would keep a spare key with you. If you lose your main key ring or accidentally lock your keys inside your car, the idea is you would have the spare with you "Just In Case".

But a thief can take your wallet or someone can rummage through your unattended purse and backpack. If they find your spare key and then check your ID to see where you live, nothing is stopping them from going to your house and doing whatever they want.

Photo by soap so on Unsplash
Photo by soap so on Unsplash

Just Because most of your information is X'ed out on a receipt does not mean thieves cannot steal your identity.  An experienced criminal can utilize the last digits of your card plus the merchant number on the receipt and your name (printed on many receipts) to get access to your financials. The thief can use that information to go on a shopping spree and you won't know what happened until you see the bill on your statement.

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Photo illustration by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

*Social Security Card
In most situations, you do not need to verify your identification with your government-issued Social Security Card. If you have your Social Security Number memorized, you never have to carry the card with you.  This is the "Golden Ticket" for a thief because with your Full Name and SSN, they can ruin your life by damaging both your credit and reputation.

Gift Cards
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

*Unused Gift Cards
There are two different scenarios where Gift Cards can be problematic for you:

1. You have your bank account connected to a Gift Card that you refill to use at specific stores like Wawa to gain Rewards Points.  This will allow a thief to gain access to your Rewards Account and if they are creative enough, find their way to your Checking Account
2. If your name is printed on a Gift Card, a thief can use your name and the information on the card to refill the Generic Visa or Master Card to have some fun at the expense of your identity.

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

*Password Cheat Sheet
Most people have multiple passwords they use every day and an old school practice is to print out a mini-spreadsheet with that information. If you leave this "Cheat Sheet" in your wallet, purse, or backpack then a thief can have the opportunity to swipe this from you, opening all the Virtual Doors to your important accounts for them.

Most New Jersey residents own multiple credit cards
Photo by Avery Evans on Unsplash

*Multiple Credit Cards
I know this is a tricky one for many people who use multiple cards for their daily purchases. You may have one card for when you fill your vehicle's gas tank then another card for grocery shopping and another card when you dine out.  The idea is you want to maximize all the potential rewards with these different card programs.

But if you are not regularly using any of your Credit Cards, it is recommended to not carry everything with you daily.  A thief doesn't need to steal all of your Credit Cards, they can maximize your Identity Theft with the cards that have your Bank Account Information attached because then it works like an ATM for them.

Photo by Money Knack on Unsplash
Photo by Money Knack on Unsplash

Yes, there are still people who feel more comfortable writing out checks than making payments through modern digital methods. For these people, writing checks is a part of their system for how they track their money and handle the balancing of their bills. But you should avoid bringing your checkbook with you anywhere. These are like "Master Keys.

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Gallery Credit: Eddie Davis

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