Protect Your Identity

Good practices can help prevent fraud.  Here are Seven Tips that will help you stay safe and protect your identity:

  1. Practice Safe Internet Use

    Delete spam phishing emails that ask for personal information, and keep your antivirus and antispyware software up-to-date. Shop online only with secure web pages (check the address bar for "https” next to an image of a lock). Never email credit card numbers or other personal information.

  2. Destroy Personal Financial Records

    Shred unneeded bank and credit card statements, medical records, ATM/Debit card receipts, tax records, and other documents that contain personal financial information.

  3. Guard your Social Security number and other personal information

    Criminals seek your Social Security number because it is the key to access your credit and open accounts. Memorize your number. Store your Social Security card in a safe place and don’t carry with you. Carry only what you need.

  4. Check your credit report

    Regularly review your credit file for suspicious activity.  You can request one free copy of each of the three credit reporting agencies:  Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, once a year. 

  5. Review account statements

    Look over your credit card and financial statements for suspicious or unknown transactions. Keep track of them as well. If regular statements are not reaching you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address.

  6. Carry only what you need

    Carry only the cards and personal information you need. If your wallet or purse is stolen, the fewer items you have, the better. Do not ever leave credit cards, cash, or IDs in your car.

  7. Be alert to telephone scams

    Be wary of phone calls from people asking you to provide personal information. Financial institutions do not call their customers and ask them for their personal information. Simply hang up and notify the financial institution directly of any suspicious phone call in their name. 

High Risk

Children are also at risk of identity theft.  Thieves can use their Social Security numbers to illegally obtain jobs, credit accounts, mortgages and car loans.

The elderly are also susceptible to identity theft, especially if they are not monitoring their finances.  They may also be targets of phishing scams via email or over the phone.

Use the same precautions handling your child’s or parent’s number as you do your own and follow the same theft report procedures.

Be Aware of Scams

Sounds Too Good To Be True?  It Is! Don’t Take the Bait. Stay away from offers of money or prizes.  It’s most definitely a scam when you receive an email or call from someone that does:

  • Claims you have a refund due to you
  • Says you’ve won a contest
  • Asks you to provide your account information because someone wants to send you money

Call Immediately

It’s critical you contact your financial institution immediately if you think you have been a victim of a scam, or have mistakenly given out your personal or account information. Report lost or stolen checks, credit cards, or debit cards, immediately.