What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information (such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information) without your permission with the intent to commit fraud. Often identity thieves will use another individual's personal information to fraudulently open new credit card accounts, open bank accounts or obtain new loans. They may obtain personal identifying information by many means, including:
- Stealing wallets that contain personal identifying information,
- Stealing bank statements from the mail,
- Rummaging through trash, or
- Intercepting or otherwise obtaining information transmitted or stored electronically.
How do I Detect Identity Theft?
Monitor Your Accounts
Keep track of transactions on your Classic Bank accounts by logging into NetTeller Internet Banking, where you can view transaction activity as it occurs throughout the day.
Check Your Credit
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. You may obtain your free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling the Central Source at 1-877-322-8228.
If you have already received your free credit report within the last 12 months, you can contact one of the three nationwide credit bureaus and order a copy for a fee.
Equifax 1-800-685-1111 or www.equifax.com
Experian 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com
Transunion 1-800-888-4213 or www.transunion.com
Your credit report contains information on where you live and work, accounts opened in your name, how you pay your bills, whether a judgment has been filed against you, and whether you have filed for bankruptcy.
How do I Avoid Identity Theft?
- Protect your Personal Information
- Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
- Do not have personal identifying information such as your Social Security number and driver's license number printed on your checks.
- Keep your unused and cancelled checks in a safe place.
- Do not leave your purse, wallet, checkbook, or any other forms of identification in your car.
- Never use your Social Security number as a username or password.
- Shred any documents containing banking or credit information, or any personal identifying information, especially pre-approved credit offers, before you throw them away.
- Keep your PINs and passwords a secret. Do not write them down or share them with anyone.
- Do not place your bill payments in your residential mail box; take them to the U.S. Post Office or place them in a blue U.S. Postal Service collection box;or use our free on-line Bill Pay to pay your bills electronically.
What if I am a Victim of Identity Theft?
Report Identity Theft
- If you know or suspect that you are a victim of fraud you should:
- Contact the three main credit bureaus listed above and have them place a "fraud alert" on your credit file. This alert requires creditors to verify your identity before opening any new accounts in your name or changing any existing accounts.
- Request a copy of your credit report. Credit bureaus must provide victims of identity theft a free copy of their credit report. Review them carefully to see if any fraudulent accounts have been opened. If so, contact the credit bureau and companies immediately to notify them of the fraud. Once a dispute has been resolved, the credit bureaus that you notified will send you another copy of your report to review. Review your credit report carefully to make sure that all fraudulent activity has stopped and your file has been corrected.
- Contact other creditors (banks, credit card companies, utility companies) to notify them of potential fraud. Always follow up telephone conversations with a letter.
- Close any account that has been breached and open a new account .
- Contact your local police department or sheriff's office. A police report will assist you when dealing with creditors, who may require proof of criminal activity.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission: www.consumer.gov/idtheft or 1-877-ID THEFT
- Other agencies that you may contact if you are a victim of identity theft are:
- Social Security Fraud Hotline: 1-800-269-0271
- Postal Inspection Service: www.usps.com
- Department of Motor Vehicles: www.dmv.org