Protect Yourslef

The FBI says identity theft is the fastest growing white-collar crime in the nation. Identity thieves need only obtain your name, address, and bank or credit card number, or even social security to take over your identity.


Common Threats

Phishing - Theives attempt to steal your information by posing as a known bank, entity, or relative.  Phishing attempts can be very beleivable and often direct you to a fake website that looks identical to the real one.  Entering any information into these sites, such as login ID and passwords, will give the theives that information.  Never click links in suspicious emails and always make sure you know who an email is from.

Spyware - Software that is unknowingly loaded onto your computer and logs your keystrokes or collects information and then sends it to the theives.  Spyware can also perform unwanted actions or prevent you from performing actions on your computer.  Spyware is often dowloaded by clicking unknown email links or visiting sketchy websites.

Card Skimming - Devices placed over real card readers that collect your information as you use the machine.  Card skimmers are usually placed on ATMs or gas pumps, but can be placed on any machine that reads cards.  Always examine the machine before you use it and look for anything out of the ordinary.


Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft

Protecting yourself is chiefly your responsibility. You are in the best position to protect your own identity by taking some basic precautions. The list that follows suggests some of the things you can do.

  • Use passwords on all accounts and your PC that are difficult to guess-and don't use the same password for everything. Don't use passwords that relate to family names, birthdates, your SSN, addresses or your job.

  • Do not keep passwords on you, and don't write such information on debit or ATM cards.

  • Use up to date anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer.

  • Be careful what you throw in the trash such as bills, cancelled checks, account statements, marketing solicitations and similar documents.

  • Shred or tear up your charge receipts, credit card solicitations, expired cards, statements, checks and other sensitive personal information.

  • Carry only the identification and bank/credit cards you actually need.

  • Review your monthly statements promptly and carefully and immediately report anything that you question, or if the bill does not arrive on time.

  • Call your credit card company immediately if your new card has not arrived.

  • Destroy and cancel old, unwanted or unused credit cards. Cutting them up is not enough.

  • Don't give private information to anyone unless you are positive who the person is and that there is a legitimate need for the information.

  • Never lend your password to anyone-you will probably be responsible for anything that results.

  • Guard your mail. Deposit outgoing mail at the post office rather than in your mailbox. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.

  • Be absolutely positive of the identity of anyone telephoning you to request personal information. Be especially cautious of anyone claiming to be a law enforcement official. Arrange to call the person back, using a phone number you can verify in the phone book.

  • Do not give personal data over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact.

  • Periodically check your credit report to see if there are loans or credit cards outstanding that you don't know about.

  • Never write down PINs - memorize them and do not use any part of your social security number, mother's maiden name, birth date or address.

  • Guard YOUR social security number. NEVER carry it in your wallet, or write it on checks.

  • Give your social security number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other identifiers.

  • Be careful and mindful of who is around you at ATMs and when using phone cards. "Shoulder surfers" can get your PIN number and gain access to your account. 


ATM / Night Deposit Facility User Precautions

As with all financial transactions, please exercise discretion when using an automated teller machine (ATM) or night deposit facility. For your own safety, be careful. The following suggestions may be helpful.

  • Prepare for your transactions at home (for instance, by filling out a deposit slip) to minimize your time at the ATM or night deposit facility.

  • Mark each transaction in your account record, but not while at the ATM or night deposit facility. Always save your ATM receipts. Don’t leave them at the ATM or night deposit facility because they may contain important account information.

  • Compare your records with the account statements you receive.

  • Don’t lend your ATM card to anyone.

  • Remember, do not leave your card at the ATM. Do not leave until you see "transaction complete" on the screen. Do not leave any documents at a night deposit facility.

  • Protect the secrecy of your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Protect your ATM card as though it were cash. Don’t tell anyone your PIN. Don’t give anyone information regarding your ATM card or PIN over the telephone. Don’t write your PIN where it can be discovered. For example, don’t keep a note of you PIN in your wallet or purse.

  • Prevent others from seeing you enter your PIN by using your body to shield their view.

  • If you lose your ATM card or it is stolen, promptly notify us. You should consult the other disclosures you have received about electronic fund transfers for additional information about what to do if your card is lost or stolen.

  • When you make a transaction, be aware of your surroundings. Look out for suspicious activity near the ATM or night deposit facility, particularly if it is after sunset. At night, be sure that the facility (including the parking area and walkway) is well lighted. Consider having someone accompany you when you use the facility, especially after sunset. If you observe any problem, go to another ATM or night deposit facility.

  • Don’t accept assistance from anyone you don’t know when using an ATM or night deposit facility.

  • If you notice anything suspicious or if any other problem arises after you have begun an ATM transaction, you may want to cancel the transaction, pocket your card and leave. You might consider using another ATM or coming back later.

  • Don’t display your cash: pocket it as soon as the ATM transaction is competed and count the cash later when you are in the safety of your own car, home, or other secure surrounding.

  • At a drive-up-facility, make sure all the car doors are locked and all of the windows are rolled up, except the driver’s window. Keep the engine running and remain alert to your surroundings.

  • We want the ATM and night deposit facility to be safe and convenient for you. Therefore, please tell us if you know of any problem with a facility. For instance, let us know if a light is not working or there is any damage to a facility. Please report any suspicious activity or crimes to both the operator of the facility and the local law enforcement officials immediately.

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