6 Things You Need To Know About... IDENTIFY THEFT
1. What to do?
To avoid becoming a victim of Identity Theft:
- Check your credit report annually… it’s free.
- Use passwords on all accounts… at least 15 characters.
- Don’t use your social security number or part of your name as an identifier.
- Purchase Identity Theft insurance if you can afford it.
2. Check Your Accounts
1 out of 10 Identity Theft crimes stay hidden for more than 2 years.
- Check your account statements at least monthly.
- We recommend frequently reviewing your account information online. With Florida Bank's Online Banking, you can regularly monitor your activity to quickly detect fraud and identity theft.
- Customers who regularly monitor their account activity online, detect fraud earlier than those that rely on paper statements.
- Report lost of stolen cards and checks immediately.
- Receiving electronic statements can reduce your risk of mail fraud.
Occurs when a thief poses as a rep of a bank, employer, or landlord and contacts you via mail, phone, or email and attempts to get personal information.
- Never give information to anyone you don’t know or can not confirm their identity.
4. How did this happen?
4 out of 5 victims don’t know how a thief obtains their information. Personal information can be obtained from trash at home or work, your mailbox, or your home computer.
- Shred trash immediately with personal information.
- Don’t leave mail overnight in your mailbox.
- Place outgoing mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox to reduce the risk of mail theft.
Over 700,000 Americans will become victims of Identity Theft this year. Assume you are being targeted and take action to protect your information. It can happen to you and thieves target the easiest victims first.
6. What to look for...
The following may be signs of identity theft:
- If you receive calls from creditors or debt collectors regarding services or merchandise that you did not request
- If you receive credit cards that you did not request or apply for.
- If new accounts appear on your credit report that are not yours.
- If you are denied credit or offered less than favorable credit terms for no apparent reason.
7. If you are a victim...
- Contact your branch to discuss closing accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with.
- Document the time and money you spend on straightening out your accounts. Some states offer restitution to the victim for time and money spent.
- Contact the police and file a report. Your creditors may require a copy of the report.
- Contact the fraud department at each of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file
- Contact any credit card companies or banks where you have accounts.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission who runs the ID Theft Hotline and the ID Theft Data Clearing House:
- Contact the US Postal Inspection Service