Identity Theft Provention

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when a criminal illegally obtains your personal information to steal money from your accounts, open new credit cards, apply for loans and commit other crimes – all using your identity. Since your personal identification can be used illegally in multiple ways, identity theft can cause financial loss, damage to your credit and result in a lengthy resolution process.

Although identity theft is often considered a high-tech crime, only affecting individual who shop or conduct business online, the majority of identity theft occurs offline. What might surprise you if those identity theft crimes are often committed by people you know or have contact with; anyone with access to your checkbook, credit cards or statements. Common tactics used by identity thieves including wallets or purses, intercepting your mail, or rummaging through your garbage (dumpster diving).

 

Identity Theft Precautions

  • Delete suspicious emails from unknown sources without opening them.

  • Never provide personal information over the phone or the internet if you did not initiate the contact.

  • First National Bank of Woodsboro will NEVER ask you to provide any private information (account numbers, passwords, social security numbers, etc.) through an unsolicited email.

  • Purchase a shredder and shred financial and personal documents you no longer need, such as credit card offers, pay stubs and utility bills, before discarding them.

  • Only carry necessary information in your wallet or purse. For example, do not carry your Social Security card.

  • Do not print your Social Security number on your checks.

  • When a social security number is requested, confirm that it is actually needed rather than some other identifier.

  • Use online banking to pay your bills online. The fewer personal documents sent through the mail, the less chance there is for identity theft.

  • Closely monitor your bank account statements and credit card bills. Contact your financial institution immediately if there is a discrepancy in your records or if you notice something suspicious, such as a missing payment or an unauthorized withdrawal.

  • Do not send confidential information such as account numbers and passwords over the internet in an email.

  • Avoid using public computers, such as those in libraries, hotels, or Internet cafes to connect to online banking sites due to the risk of residing in public equipment.

 

Email and Internet Safeguards

  • Do not click on links in an unsolicited email asking for personal information.

  • If you receive an email that warns you, with little or no notice, that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your personal information, do not reply or click on the link in the email. Call the company cited in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine to confirm if the request is authentic.

  • Before submitting confidential information through a website, make sure the connection is secure. Normally, the URL address will begin with “https://”. You should also see a padlock icon at the bottom of your browser window.

  •  Always log off of websites where you have entered User ID and Password when you are done with your online banking session.

  • Install virus protection software on your computer and remember to update it frequently.

  • Keep your online banking password secure. Do not share your password or use obvious or easily obtainable information such as your name or date of birth. Select a password that uses both letters and numbers to make it harder to guess.