What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information without your permission to commit fraud. The thief can use your information to take over your existing account, open new accounts in your name, obtain loans and credit cards, and even rent apartments. Identity theft often begins with the loss or theft of a wallet or purse that might contain your identification, credit cards, or debit cards. These thieves can also obtain your personal information by stealing bank and credit card statements from your trash or mailbox, sending fraudulent emails to you requesting your information, and/or obtaining files from offices where you are a customer or employee.
How to Prevent Identity Theft
- Protect Your Personal Information
- Protect your Social Security number (SSN), credit card and debit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords, and other personal information.
- Do not carry documents like your Social Security card, passport, or birth certificate except when it's absolutely necessary.
- Limit the number of credit cards and checks that you carry.
- Never share your PINs or passwords with anyone. Don’t write your passwords down.
- Protect Your Financial Information
- Keep your financial information private and secure. Use a shredder to destroy all credit card receipts, solicitations, canceled checks, and any other personal documents that are no longer useful
- Keep a close watch on your bank account statements and credit card bills.
- Protect your incoming and outgoing mail.
- Carefully review all your accounts and continue to carefully review all charges and transactions appearing on account statements and online. Any discrepancies should be reported immediately.
- Call your credit card company if your card has expired and you didn’t receive a new one.
- Cancel unused credit cards – cutting them up is not enough.
- Report any lost or stolen cards immediately.
- Review your credit report periodically and report fraudulent activity. Exercise your rights under the FACT Act and get a free credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling (877) 322-8228.
- Do not use your personal information (e.g., SSN, birth date, etc.) as a username or password. Change your usernames and passwords regularly and use combinations of letters, numbers, and special characters (e.g., #, @, etc.)
- Protect your answers to security questions. Select questions and provide answers that are easy for you to remember, but hard for anyone else to guess.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone or internet unless you are sure you know who you’re dealing with.
- Be on alert for “phishing” emails soliciting your personal information. Far East National Bank will never ask for your personal or account information via email.
- Install a personal firewall and anti-virus software on your computer.
- Use secure websites for transactions and shopping. Shop with merchants you know and trust. Make sure internet purchases are secured with encryption to protect your account information
- Always log off from any website after making a purchase with your credit or debit card. If you cannot log off, shut down your browser to prevent unauthorized access to your account information.
- Close your browser when you are not using the internet.
If You Suspect Identity Theft
If you're concerned that someone has unauthorized access to your personal information, please call us immediately at (213) 687-2715, so we can take steps to help protect you. You should also consider reporting your concerns to the following agencies and organizations. Keep track of the organizations you contact.
- Your local law enforcement officials
- The Federal Trade Commission identity theft hotline at: (877) ID-THEFT
- The Social Security Administration fraud hotline at: (800) 269-0271
- Your credit card companies
- The major credit bureaus can place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security Number. For more information about the steps to take, and to get your credit reports, contact the credit bureaus listed below:
- Other applicable agencies
- If you believe your mail was stolen or redirected, notify the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455 or contact your local post office
- If you believe someone is trying to get a driver’s license or identification card using your name and information, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Other Identity Theft Resources
Equal Housing Lender
Privacy & Security
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