Identity Theft or account takeover fraud involves criminals stealing a personís personal information. The crooks assume a personís identity to apply for credit in his or her name, run up huge bills, stiff creditors and generally wreck the victimís credit record.
Protect yourself by safeguarding you confidential information. Use the following guidelines to help avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.
- Donít give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, by email, or over the internet unless you have initiated the contact or know who you are dealing with.
- Guard your mail from theft. Use locked collection boxes and promptly remove mail from your mailbox. And, if youíll be away from home for a period of time, contact the U.S. Postal Service to hold your mail.
- Keep personal information in a safe place. Be cautious about leaving personal information around, especially if you have roommates, guests, employ outside help, or have service work done. Never carry PINís or passwords with you or store them on your computer, and never share them with anyone.
- Use unique and complex passwords. Donít use your childís name, birth date, your Social Security Number, phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.
- Only give your Social Security Number when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible. And, donít carry your Social Security card with you.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills donít arrive on time, follow up with your creditor. A missing bill could mean identity thieves have take over your account and changed your billing address to cover their tracks.
- Review your bank and credit card statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized transactions.
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited e-mails. Type in a web address you know. Keep your anti-virus software up to date to protect your home computer.
- Shred sensitive documents before disposing of them. Destroy old checks and bank statements, credit card receipts, insurance forms and credit card offers you get in the mail. Identity thieves could steal information from your trash and use it to get credit in your name.
- Routinely monitor your accounts online at your bankís, credit card companyís or other financial institutionís websites.
- Review your credit information at least once a year.
1st Cameron State Bank will never send you an e-mail asking for confidential information such as passwords, account numbers or other sensitive information. If you receive an e-mail that appears to be from 1st Cameron State Bank requesting confidential information, please contact us immediately.