- Safeguard your financial information such as checking and credit card numbers, and your Social Security
number. Unless you know the person or organization you're dealing
with, don't give it out, even to someone claiming to be from your
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately.
Review new deliveries of checks to make sure none have been stolen in
- Notify your bank of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to
"verify a statement" or "award a prize".
- Shred financial solicitations or financial statements before disposing of them.
- Deposit your mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
- If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why.
Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail and steal your
- If your bills include questionable items, investigate immediately.
This is often the first sign of identity theft fraud.
- Avoid phishing scams. Never reply directly
or click on a link in response to an email that asks for personal or
financial information. If you are concerned about your account contact
the company or institution via a web site you know to be genuine.
Remember- your bank will never contact you "out of
the blue" to ask for personal financial information.
Substantial measures are in place at your bank to
protect your identity against theft and fraud:
- Privacy Policies - Our privacy policies protect your
personal and financial information. These policies are stringent and
enforced, with employee training provided regularly.
- Internal Confidentiality - Access to nonpublic information
about you is limited to employees who need to know that information
to provide you with products and services.
- Information Security - Keeping your financial information
secure is one of our most important responsibilities. We maintain
physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect customer
If you become a victim of identity theft you should do
- File a police report.
- Contact your banker.
- Notify credit bureau fraud units.
- Place a fraud alert statement on your credit report.
- Request that credit bureaus identify accounts closed due to fraud
as "closed at consumer's request".
- Request free credit reports (fraud victims are entitled to two
free credit reports from each of the credit bureaus).
- Report check theft to check verification companies.
- Check post office for unauthorized change of address requests.
- Follow-up contacts with letter and keep copies of all
Free Credit Reports: Fast Facts
A new law (The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, or FACT
Act) requires each of the three credit reporting companies to
provide you a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once
every 12 months. A credit report contains information about you and your
credit/payments history. This information is used to evaluate your
applications for credit, insurance, employment, renting a home and for
Free reports are being phased in from West to East,
with all regions eligible by 09/01/2005.
You can get your report at:
www.annualcreditreport.com, or call 877-322-8228.
You can also contact the credit reporting companies:
Equifax (www.equifax.com) 800-685-1111.
Experian (www.experian.com) 888-397-3742.
TransUnion (www.transunion.com) 800-888-4213.
Order from all three, since each one derives its information
from different sources. Some experts advise staggering them over the
course of one year to keep track of your status with a free report every
You can also get a free report if:
- A company takes adverse action against you, such as denying you credit.
- Your report is inaccurate because of fraud.
- You are unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days.
- You are on welfare.
If you find inaccuracies in the report:
- Tell the credit reporting company - they must investigate right
away, and must forward your data to the company that provided the
- Tell the creditor in writing that you dispute the item.
Also, an employer or prospective employer cannot get a copy of your report without your written consent.
For more information on the prevention of Identity Theft visit:
www.FTC.gov, and click on consumer protection
Or Call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)
Consumers can file Identity Theft report by calling:
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