Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft
Manage Your Mailbox
Check Your Purse or Wallet
- Do not leave bill payment envelopes clipped to your mailbox
or inside with the flag up; criminals may steal your mail and change
- Know your billing cycles, and watch for any missing mail.
Follow up with creditors if bills or new cards do not arrive on time.
An identity thief may have filed a change of address request in your
name with the creditor or the post office.
- Carefully review your monthly accounts, credit card statements
and utility bills (including cellular telephone bills) for unauthorized
charges as soon as you receive them. If you suspect unauthorized use,
contact the provider's customer service and fraud departments immediately.
- When you order new checks, ask when you can expect delivery.
If your mailbox is not secure, then ask to pick up the checks instead
of having them delivered to your home.
- Although many consumers appreciate the convenience and
customer service of general direct mail, some prefer not to receive
offers of pre-approval financing or credit. To "opt out" of receiving
such offers, call (888) 5 OPT OUT sponsored by the credit bureaus.
- The Direct Marketing Association offers services to
help reduce the number of mail and telephone solicitations. To join
their mail preference service, mail your name, home address and signature
to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, PO Box
9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008.
- Never leave your purse or wallet unattended-even for
- Protect your PINs (don't carry them in your wallet!)
and passwords; use a 10-digit combination of letters and numbers for
your passwords and change them periodically.
- Carry only personal identification and credit cards
you actually need in your purse or wallet. If your ID or credit cards
are lost or stolen, notify the creditors immediately, and ask the
credit bureaus to place a "fraud alert" in your file.
- Keep a list of all your credit cards and bank accounts
along with their account numbers, expirations dates and credit limits,
as well as the telephone numbers of customer service and fraud departments.
Store this list in a safe place.
- If your state uses your Social Security number as your
driver's license number, ask to substitute another number.
Keep Your Personal Numbers Safe and Secure
- When creating passwords and PINs (personal identification
numbers) do not use any part of your Social Security number, birth
date, middle name, wife's name, child's name, pet's name, mother's
maiden name, address, consecutive numbers, or anything that a thief
could easily deduce or discover.
- Ask businesses to substitute a secret alpha-numeric
code as a password instead of your mother's maiden name.
- Shield the keypad when using ATMs or when placing
calling card calls.
- Memorize your passwords and PINs; never keep them
in your wallet, purse, Rolodex or electronic organizer.
- Get your Social Security number out of circulation and
release it only when necessary-for example, on tax forms and employment
records, or for banking, stock and property transactions.
- Do not have your Social Security number printed on your
checks, and do not allow merchants to write your Social Security number
on your checks. If a business requests your Social Security number,
ask to use an alternate number.
- Never give your Social Security number, account numbers
or personal credit information to anyone who calls you.
Bank, Shop and Spend Wisely
- Store personal information in a safe place and shred
or tear up documents you don't need. Destroy charge receipts, copies
of credit applications, insurance forms, bank checks and statements,
expired charge cards and credit offers you get in the mail before
you put them out in the trash.
- Cancel your unused credit cards so that their account
numbers will not appear on your credit report.
- When you fill out a loan or credit application, be sure
that the business either shreds these applications or stores them
in locked files.
- Tear up receipts, bank statements and unused pre-approval
credit card offers and convenience checks before throwing them away.
- When possible, watch your credit card as the merchant
completes the transaction.
- Use credit cards that have your photo and signature
on the front.
- Sign your credit cards immediately upon receipt.
- Carefully consider what information you want placed
in the residence telephone book and ask yourself what it reveals about
- Keep track of credit card, debit card and ATM receipt.
Never throw them in a public trash container. Tear them up or shred
them at home when you no longer need them.
- Ask businesses that what their privacy policies are and
how they will use your information: Can you choose to keep it confidential?
Do they restrict access to data?
- Choose to do business with companies you know are reputable,
- When conducting business online, use a secure browser
that encrypts or scrambles purchase information and make sure your
browser's padlock or key icon is active.
- Don't open email from unknown sources. Use virus detective
Review Your Information
- Order a copy of your credit report from the three credit
reporting agencies every year and make sure all the information is
correct, especially your name, address, and Social Security number.
Look for indications of fraud, such as unauthorized applications,
unfamiliar credit accounts, credit inquiries and defaults and delinquencies
that you did not cause.
- Check your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement
once each year to make sure that no one else is using your Social
Security number for employment.
|Important Information About Procedures For Opening A New Account—
To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering
activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain,
verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an
account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask
for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will
allow us to identify you; we may also ask to see your driver’s license
or other identifying documents.
For general information on FDIC Insurance, click here. For an important disclosure regarding deposit insurance on noninterest-bearing transaction accounts, click here.
|©2011 Union Bank & Trust Company. All Rights Reserved. MEMBER