Fraud Prevention — Protecting Your Identity
The number of Americans who have experienced identity theft has surpassed 27 million, with the incidence rate increasing every year. Substantial measures are in place at your bank to protect your identity and your accounts against theft and fraud. For example, stringent bank privacy policies and enhanced internal controls protect your personal and financial information. Password protection for online transactions helps assure online security. When using our online services, you develop a secret password that only you know. Encryption of online transactions with your bank converts your information into secure code, protecting you against hackers.
Maximum security is possible only with your help.
Here's what you can do to stop these crimes before they happen:
- Do not give out financial information such as checking and credit card numbers, or your Social Security number, unless you know the person or organization.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Your bank will block payment on them.
- Report lost or stolen debit and ATM cards immediately. Your bank can capture the card when fraudulently used in an ATM and debit card transactions can be blocked from approval at the point of sale
- Notify your banker of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to "verify a statement" or "award a prize."
- Closely guard your ATM Personal Identification Number and ATM receipts.
- Shred any financial solicitations and bank statements before disposing of them.
- Put outgoing mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
- If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why.
- If your bills include questionable items don't ignore them. Instead, investigate immediately to head off any possible fraud.
- Periodically contact the major credit reporting companies to review your file and make certain the information is correct. Information is provided below to help you do this.
Credit Reporting Bureaus
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
Place a fraud alert: 1-888-766-0008
Order a credit report: 1-800-685-1111
475 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Place a fraud alert: 1-888-397-3742
Order a credit report: 1-888-397-3742
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Place a fraud alert: 1-800-680-7289
Order a credit report: 1-800-888-4213
Latest Fraud Attempts
Over the Phone Identity Theft Scams
We have multiple reports that telephone scams are on the rise. Identity thieves are claiming to be calling from institutions like the Social Security Administration, your local bank's security department, or other reputable sources and asking for confidential information. Remember to never give out confidential information to people calling you no matter who they claim to be. Let them know you will call them back to address any concerns and always use a known published phone number when doing so. Never use a phone number given to you by the potential thieves. See below on what you can do to protect your identity and what you can do if you feel your identity has been compromised.
Don't Get Hooked by a 'Phishing' Scam
Internet scammers casting about for people's financial information have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims: They go "phishing." Phishing, also called "carding," is a high-tech scam that uses spam to deceive consumers into disclosing their credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the emails pretend to be from businesses the potential victims deal with - for example, their Internet service provider (ISP), online payment service or bank. The fraudsters tell recipients that they need to "update" or "validate" their billing information to keep their accounts active, and direct them to a "look-alike" Web site of the legitimate business, further tricking consumers into thinking they are responding to a bona fide request. Unknowingly, consumers submit their financial information - not to the businesses - but the scammers, who use it to order goods and services and obtain credit.
To avoid getting caught by one of these scams, the FTC, the nation's consumer protection agency, offers this guidance:
If you get an email that warns you, with little or no notice, that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the email. Instead, contact the company cited in the email using a telephone number or Web site address you know to be genuine.
Avoid emailing personal and financial information. Before submitting financial information through a Web site, look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar. It signals that your information is secure during transmission.
Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.
Report suspicious activity to the FTC. Send the actual spam to [email protected]. If you believe you've been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC's Identity Theft website to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from identity theft. You can learn more about phishing at www.antiphishing.com.