Facts About ID Theft
The number of Americans affected by identity theft will top 30 million this year. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to establish credit… purchase items… or borrow money in your name.
How can you protect yourself? Here are some important facts, tips and reminders:
- Safeguard your financial information such as checking and credit card numbers, and your Social Security number. Unless you know the person or organization you’re dealing with, don’t give it out, even to someone claiming to be from your bank.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Review new deliveries of checks to make sure none have been stolen in transit.
- Notify your bank of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to “verify a statement” or “award a prize.”
- Shred financial solicitations or financial statements before disposing of them.
- Deposit your mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
- If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail and steal your identity.
- If your bills include questionable items, investigate immediately. This is often the first sign of identity theft fraud.
- Avoid phishing scams. Never reply directly or click on a link in response to an email that asks for personal or financial information. If you are concerned about your account contact the company or institution via a web site you know to be genuine. Remember-your bank will never contact you “out of the blue” to ask for personal financial information.
Measures Your Bank Takes
Substantial measures are in place at your bank to protect your identity against theft and fraud:
- Privacy Policies-Our privacy policies protect your personal and financial information. These policies are stringent and enforced, with employee training provided regularly.
- Internal Confidentiality- Access to nonpublic information about you is limited to employees who need to know that information to provide you with products and services.
- Information Security- Keeping your financial information secure is one of our most important responsibilities. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect customer information.
Check List for Victims
If you become a victim of identity theft you should do the following:
- File a police report.
- Contact your banker.
- Notify credit bureau fraud units.
- Place a fraud alert statement on your credit report.
- Request that credit bureaus identify accounts closed due to fraud as “closed at customer’s request.”
- Request free credit reports (fraud victims are entitled to two free credit reports from each of the credit bureaus).
- Report check theft to check verification companies.
- Check post office for unauthorized change of address requests.
- Follow-up contacts with letter and keep copies of all correspondence.
For more information on the prevention of Identity Theft visit:
and click on consumer protection
Consumers can file identity theft reports by calling
1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338)