Protecting Your Privacy – Identity Theft
Protecting your privacy
No matter how cautious you are, there is no way to completely prevent identity theft from occurring, but there are ways you can help minimize your risk. This page contains valuable information on how you can protect yourself by managing your personal information wisely, the warning signs to identity theft and internet ‘phishing’, and what to do if you do become a victim.
Identity theft occurs when someone acquires your personal information and uses it without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. It is a serious crime and cases are growing. An all-too-common example is when an identity thief uses your personal information to open a credit card account in your name.
Internet ‘phishing’ scams are one of the fastest-growing frauds today. Phishing typically involves a bogus e-mail message that uses legitimate materials, such as a company’s Web site graphics and logos, in an attempt to entice e-mail recipients to provide personal financial details, such as credit card and Social Security numbers.
Financial institutions, government agencies, retailers and many other organizations have seen their Web site graphics, including corporate logos and other materials, “borrowed” by fraudsters intent on tricking consumers into divulging personal financial information by responding to an official-looking, but entirely bogus, e-mail. Like many cons and scams, phishing preys on the unwary.
Click the button below to read some tips to avoid Identity theft and phishing scams.
Although there may be no warning signs that precede an identity theft, there are some reasons to be concerned.
Your bills or statements don’t arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean someone has taken over your account and changed your billing address. You are denied credit for no apparent reason. You begin to receive bills from companies where you haven’t bought anything. Collection agencies begin trying to collect on debts you don’t recognize.
If you do become a victim
Sometimes an identity thief can strike even if you have been very careful about keeping your personal information to yourself. If you suspected that your personal information has been compromised and misappropriated to commit fraud or theft, take action immediately. Keep a record of your conversations and correspondence.
Close all accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened. Notify all creditors and financials institutions, in writing and by phone, that your name and accounts have been used without your permission.
File a Police Report Provide as much documentation as you can – such as debt collection letters, credit reports, and other evidence of fraudulent activity. This information will help the police file a complete report.
Contact the three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, and request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit report and check your credit report.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is collecting identify theft complains from consumers to help law enforcement agencies worldwide.
- Identity Theft Clearing House
- Federal Trade Commission
- Consumer Response Center
- 600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
- Washington, DC 20580
- Or Call 877-IDTHEFT (438-4338)
When you follow these simple security measures, your interaction with our online banking system will be completely confidential. We look forward to serving your online banking needs today and in the future.