DETER. DETECT. DEFEND… AVOID ID THEFT

July 9th, 2012

By: Katie Jackson, Client Service Specialist

Identity theft is a serious crime that can cost you time and money, as well as have a serious impact on your credit report. Frequently, we see customers who don’t realize their information has been compromised until they apply for a new loan or account. Adams Dairy Bank has safeguards in place to protect your information but there are also several things you can do to protect yourself.

Identity thieves use several methods to steal personal information, such as:

  • Dumpster diving – they rummage through trash looking for bills or personal information
  • Skimming – they steal credit and debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card
  • Phishing – they send email or pop-up messages, pretending to be financial institutions or government agencies, prompting you to reveal personal information online
  • Hacking – they attempt to access your email and other online accounts to obtain your personal information

You can protect yourself by safeguarding your personal information. Here are some simple things to remember:

  • Be sure to shred financial documents and paperwork before disposing of it
  • Protect your social security number and personal information
  • Avoid giving out personal information over the phone, through the mail or over the internet especially when using public wireless connections
  • Make sure you’re protected online by using spyware and firewalls where appropriate
  • Don’t click on links sent in unfamiliar emails or pop-up windows

Watch out for signs that someone has accessed your personal information. Be alert to things like:

  • Bills that do not arrive as expected
  • Unexpected credit cards or account statements
  • Denials of credit for no apparent reason
  • Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
  • Charges on your financial statements that you don’t recognize

Be sure to regularly inspect your credit report. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months. Request one online at www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.

If you suspect fraud on your account, immediately place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports. A call to one of the following companies is sufficient:

  • Experian: 1-888-397-3743
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

When in doubt – call us sooner rather than later. We are here to help you protect yourself and, if necessary, help you recover from identity theft.