Identity Theft

Some 500,000 to 700,000 Americans a year are at risk of having their identities stolen, according to government and private sector estimates. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to establish credit, borrow money, charge items or eve commit crimes in your name.

While the incidence of Internet identity theft is growing, fraud experts agree that you are still more likely to become a victim of this federal crime by more traditional means, such as improperly discarding credit cards or other financial data.

How To Protect Your Identity

Be diligent in monitoring transaction activity on your account and contact us immediately if you identify any fraudulent transactions. Here are some additional tips on protecting yourself from debit card fraud.

  1. Unless absolutely required for a legitimate business purpose, avoid giving out your:
    • Address and ZIP code
    • Phone number
    • Date of birth
    • Social Security number
    • Card or account number
    • Card expiration date
    • Your PIN is private; never give it out
  2. In stores and at ATMs, always cover your card and PIN and watch for:
    • Cell phone cameras, mirrors or other tools used to view cards and PINs
    • People watching your transaction
    • Cashiers taking your card out of sight; take it to the register yourself
    • Any unusual activity at ATMs; if you feel uncomfortable, go to another ATM
  3. Online, you should never respond to unsolicited e-mails that:
    • Ask you to verify your card or account number; such as e-mails are not sent by legitimate businesses
    • Link to websites; such sites can look legitimate but may collect data or put spy ware on your computer
    • Use only secure sites when making online purchases. Secure pages begin with “https://”
    • Pay for online purchases by credit card to assure you get wheat you paid for and to limit your liability
  4. Additional tips:
    • Before discarding, shred credit cards, ATM receipts and any pre-approved credit offers you have received, but don’t plan to use
    • Check all credit card and bank statements for accuracy
    • Safeguard your SSN, and check Earnings and Benefit statements annually for fraudulent use

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