Protecting Against Identity Theft
The FTC estimates that as many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, such as your name, Social Security number or credit card number – without your permission – to commit fraud or other crimes. Here are some tips to help minimize your risk by making it more difficult for identity thieves to access your personal information – and minimize the damage if a problem develops:
- Do not give personal information such as account numbers or Social Security numbers over the telephone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing.
- Take Social Security numbers off your driver’s license and checks.
- Check all bank account statements and utility and other bills carefully to ensure all charges, checks or withdrawals are correct.
- Pick up check orders at the bank.
- Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at the local post office instead of at home, and promptly remove mail from your home mailbox.
- Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work.
- Keep important documents (passport, birth certificate, stocks and savings accounts) locked in a safe or file drawer or in a safety deposit box.
- Before discarding, shred old financial statements, receipts, copies of credit card applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks, credit offers received in the mail, etc., to make sure account numbers and addresses are unreadable.
- Never leave transaction receipts at ATM machines, on counters at financial institutions or at gasoline pumps.
- Check your credit reports regularly.
Protect yourself online by following the Online Banking Best Practices below.
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, contact us IMMEDIATELY and notify the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov, or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
For more information contact your local AEB branch, or click here to contact us via email.