Identity thieves continue to develop new schemes for obtaining your personal information. Protect yourself from Identify Theft by being proactive and continually evaluating your own activities for risk and/or vulnerabilities. Businesses should also periodically perform risk assessments on activities and operational procedures to protect their accounts and information.
Information Identity Thieves Steal
Thieves try to steal your SSN or TIN, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, bank account numbers etc. They can use this information to open new accounts and loans in your name without your knowledge. Common ways thieves obtain this information include:
- Physical theft of wallets, statements, credit cards and mail
- Looking through your trash
- Stealing information through workplace records
- Intercepting information that is transmitted electronically
Identity thieves are becoming more sophisticated, using electronic devices to capture debit and credit card information, viruses and malware to plant key loggers to collect usernames and passwords, pretext calling and phishing.
Pretext calling is when a person calls and poses as a customer to access a legitimate customer’s personal account information. A caller may pose as an employee of a financial institution and try to collect your account information by deceiving you into giving it to them.
Phishing involves the use of email solicitations and pop-ups to deceive you into revealing your personal information.
Tips to Protect Yourself
Do not give out personal information such as your SSN, TIN or account number unless you originate the contact and have verified who you are dealing with. Do not give out your online banking usernames and passwords.
Sidney Federal Savings and Loan will never call or email you asking you for your online banking credentials.
- Store your information in a safe place and dispose of your information by shredding or destroying documents and media storage devices properly.
- Check your accounts regularly and be familiar with your billing and statement cycles.
- Thieves sometimes redirect your mail without your knowledge.
- Report suspicious account activity to your bank and local authorities.
- Protect your debit and credit cards and pin numbers.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- Protect your computer with anti-virus/malware software.
- Use complex passwords and keep them in a secure location. Avoid using common dates and phrases.
- Review your credit report annually.
The three major credit bureaus have created a service to provide reports.
For a free report visit: www.AnnualCreditReport.com call: 1-877-322-8228 write to: Annual Credit Report Request Service PO Box 105281 Atlanta GA 30348-5281
Protection Under Regulation E
Consumers are provided certain protections under Regulation E. Contact Sidney Federal Savings and Loan at (800) 788-4642 or (308) 254-2401 with questions regarding Regulation E or to report suspicious account activity.
If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft
Contact the fraud department of each of the three major credit bureaus listed below to place a fraud alert on your reports.
Trans Union 1-800-680-7289
Contact your financial institutions and request they limit access to your accounts, change your passwords, or close your accounts. Ask to have your debit and credit cards canceled and reissued. Contact local law enforcement offices and file a report. Contact the FTC’s Identify Theft Hotline 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338)
FDIC Consumer Education
January 26, 2006 – A new FDIC on-line tool was released to help educate consumers how to better protect their computers and themselves from identity theft, and steps to take if they have been victimized. The presentation: Don’t Be an On-Line Victim: How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams is on the FDIC’s website.