What is Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft.
The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make—or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.
Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit.
Mobile Device Security
Your mobile device provides convenient access to your email, bank and social media accounts. Unfortunately, it can potentially provide the same convenient access for criminals. We recommend following these tips to keep your information – and your money – safe.
- Use the passcode lock, fingerprint, or Face ID on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
- Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
- Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
- Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
- Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
- Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
- Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
- Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
- Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
- Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
- Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren't very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
Debit Card Security
- Check your accounts often.
- Protect your PIN number and do not share it with anyone.
- Be aware of card skimmers at gas pumps, ATM's, etc.
Let us know when you will be traveling. Our debit card monitoring system analyzes transaction activity in order to prevent and protect you from fraudulent charges. One factor they use in their analysis is location. Debit card usage outside of a usual location could cause your card to be flagged or blocked. Just give us a call and we can make sure you don't experience any card interruptions.
Other tips to remember when traveling:
- Carry limited cash.
- Travel with more than one form of payment.
- Sign up for text alerts in Online or Mobile Banking.
- Keep a record of important documents in the event of being lost or stolen.
- Avoid free Wi-Fi.
- Don't post location or agenda on social media.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gives consumers four steps they can take to determine if fraudulent charges or debits have been made on their accounts:
- Check your accounts for unauthorized charges or debits and continue monitoring your accounts.
- Report a suspicious charge or debit immediately.
- Know when to ignore anyone contacting you to “verify” your account information by phone or email.