Account Fraud & ID Theft Resources

Identity Theft is a crime defined as the illegal use of someone else's personal information (such as a Social Security number) in order to obtain money or credit (www.merriam-webster.com).  It can happen through different means – check fraud, credit card fraud, financial/criminal/governmental identify theft – and can be originated in many ways.  Commonly, personally identifying information can be obtained through lost or stolen wallets, pilfered mail, breached databases, computer viruses, phishing & other scams…even something as simple as dumpster diving!  The bottom line?  Protecting yourself starts with YOU

Banks help catch and prosecute these crooks, but here’s what you can do to assist in preventing their attacks:

  • Never give your Social Security number or confidential information to anyone who calls you.  Don’t carry your social security card with you either – it’s best to memorize your number.
  • Shred/tear up receipts, old bank statements and unused credit card offers.  Better yet, go GREEN and sign up for e-Statements with all of your financial partners!
  • Don’t mail bills from your mailbox. Thieves may use them to change your address.  Bill pay services and automatic payments can help reduce the need to mail these items at all.
  • Review your monthly accounts for fraud, and do it timely.
  • Order copies of your credit report once a year to ensure accuracy.  Be cautious about sites trying to sell you something; www.annualcreditreport.com is the ONLY service authorized by the three nationwide credit reporting agencies for the purpose of monitoring your credit file to prevent ID theft.
  • Memorize & protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Don’t carry it with you or write it on your card!
  • Report suspected fraud to your financial institution immediately.
  • Be aware of Counterfeit and Large Withdrawal scams and learn how to protect yourself from losing money.
  • Check out this quick video for even more helpful tips!

There is a wealth of information out there for your education and protection.  Below, you can learn even more – including what to do if you do become a victim.

 


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