Identity theft (The use of personal information such as your name, address, SSN, account numbers, or passwords) to commit crimes such as fraud. Often, identity theft involves the unauthorized accessing and use of your finances and credit and it can have serious and long-lasting impacts on your reputation and financial health. As one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States, identity theft is a threat you need to take seriously. Protecting your identity is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your financial health. In order to do so effectively, you need to understand some of the techniques thieves will use to access your personal information.
The NUMBER ONE way to protect yourself against identity theft is to be suspicious of any communications that ask for your personal information. Always verify that the source is trusted and the communication is valid before proceeding. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have about protecting your personal identity or about any suspicious communications you receive.
Phishing is an email scam that mimics the appearance of a trusted business, such as your bank or credit card company. By posing as this organization, the email will attempt to trick you into providing personal information or “verify” account information.
Phishing emails often include any or all of the following elements:
Malware, which is short for malicious software, can enter your computer and steal your personal information. With increasingly sophisticated programs being developed every day, you must take steps to protect yourself against them.
Vishing is a telephone scam in which the caller claims to be from a trusted institution, such as your bank, and requests personal information from you.
Payment fraud occurs anytime someone uses your financial information to make unauthorized purchases or to commit fraud.
What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen
Here are the steps to follow if you believe your identity has been stolen:
- Call us immediately at (800) 383-8000.
- Close any accounts that have been accessed fraudulently.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report.
Contact Information for the Major Credit Bureaus:
- Review your credit report for suspicious activity.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
- Contact your local police.