Identity Theft

This year, more than 750,000 Americans will be victims of identity theft, according to government and private sector estimates. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to establish credit, purchase items, or borrow money in your name.

The incidence of this fraud is growing. Millions could eventually be affected by this "crime of the 21st Century."

How to Protect Yourself
  1. Do not release your financial information such as checking account and credit card numbers, or Social Security number, to anyone over the phone or email; unless you know the person or organization you are dealing with. Don't even release that information to someone claiming to be from your bank.
  2. Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Review new deliveries of checks to make sure none have been stolen in transit.
  3. Notify your bank of suspicious phone inquires such as those asking for account information to "verify a statement" or "award a prize".
  4. Shred financial solicitations or financial statements before disposing of them.
  5. Deposit your mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box. Thieves may use your outgoing mail to steal your identity.
  6. If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail to his or her address.
  7. If your bills include questionable items, investigate immediately. This is often the first sign of identity theft fraud.
  8. Contact the major credit reporting companies to review your file and make certain the information is correct. For a small fee, you can obtain a copy of your credit report anytime. The three major credit bureaus are:
         Equifax (800) 685-1111
         Experian (888) 397-3742
         TransUnion (800) 888-4213

What is your bank doing
Substantial measures are in place at your bank to protect your identity against theft and fraud:

    Privacy Policies
    We maintain rigorous information security programs and privacy policies to protect your personal and financial information. These policies are stringent and enforced, with employee training provided regularly. We treat your confidential information with the utmost care - whether online or in-person.

    Internal Confidentiality

    Access to nonpublic information about you is limited to employees who need to know that information to provide products and services to you.

    Internet Protection

    Before using any of our online services, you will select, or be assigned, your own personal password. It is important that you protect this information and do not leave it in a place where it may be easily found, such as a wallet or under a keyboard.

    Encrypted Security

    Whenever you are online with your bank, your transactions and personal information are secured by powerful encryption software that converts the information into secure code.

Steps to Take if You are Victimized

If you find you have become a victim of identity theft, do the following:
  • File a police report, and call the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Contact your banker.
  • Tag accounts closed due to fraud: "closed at consumer's request".
  • Notify any one of the three credit bureau's fraud units. A single call to any one of the three bureaus can result in a "security alert" being placed at all of the bureaus and a free credit report from each organized.
  • Establish a password for telephone inquiries on credit card accounts.
  • Require a copy of your credit report (free to fraud victims), and consider reviewing bimonthly copies of your credit report until your case is resolved (available at a minimal cost to fraud victims).
  • Report check theft to check verification companies.
  • Check with the Postal Office for unauthorized change of address requests.
  • Follow-up contacts with a letter and keep copies of all correspondence.

Where to Get Help

    Credit Reporting Bureaus:
    Report Fraud: (800) 525-6285
    Order Credit Report: (800) 685-1111

    Report Fraud: (888) 397-3742
    Order Credit Report: (888) 397-3742

    Report Fraud: (800) 680-7289
    Order Credit Report: (800) 888-4213

    Federal Trade Commission:
    Identity Theft Prevention
    (877) FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
    File ID Theft Reports: (877) ID-THEFT (877-438-4338)

    Identity Theft Resource Center:

    Social Security Administration:
    Report Fraud: (800) 269-0271
    Order Benefits & Earning Statement: (800) 772-1213

    Reporting Fraudulent Check Use:
    Chexsystems: (800) 428-9623
    Equifax: (800) 437-5120
    Global Payment Systems: (800) 638-4600 x555
    International Check Services: (800) 526-5380
    TeleCheck: (800) 710-9898