What is Identity Theft?
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Identity Theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission. This could include your name, Social Security number, credit card number, bank account information, or other identifying information, and the information is used to commit fraud or other crimes. These crimes can damage your credit and cause you countless hours of frustration to clear your name. Over the last few years, the Internet has proven to be a popular way identity thieves can use to conduct scams to trick consumers into divulging their personal information.
Email and Website Fraud
Email scams are commonly referred to as “Phishing” or “Spoofing”. With these scams, consumers receive an email directing them to a fraudulent website. In most cases, the criminal has designed the site to closely resemble a legitimate organization’s site. The “spoofed” site will ask for your personal information to be provided or confirmed. The criminals then use your information for identity theft. Great Nations Bank does not contact our customers to request or verify security information, such as account numbers, login or password information. We already have that information on file! Should someone call or email and say they are from the bank, contact a bank officer immediately at 405.310.4900.
How to Protect Your Identity
In today’s Internet and email society, it is difficult to be 100% protected. However, there are several steps you can take to prevent becoming a victim. These include:
- Never give your account number, credit card, Social Security number, or any other personal information to unknown contacts performing unsolicited calls or emails.
- Never give out your ATM, debit card, or PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone.
- Never write your PIN or Password on your ATM or debit card.
- Never give out your Online Banking user name or password.
- Never carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet. Keep it in a safe deposit box or other secure location.
- Never leave your checkbook or other personal information in your vehicle.
- Review all bank and credit card statements when you receive them and report any inaccuracies or unauthorized charges immediately.
- Report lost or stolen checks, debit or credit cards immediately.
- Shred any confidential documents that contain your name and other personal information rather than disposing of them in the trash.
What to do if you become a victim of Identity Theft
If you believe you have been a victim of Identity Theft, the following actions should be taken immediately to help minimize your exposure:
- File a report with your local police department.
- Contact your bank to change all account numbers that may have been compromised.
- Contact the fraud departments of the three credit bureaus listed below and have a fraud alert placed on your credit files. This notifies creditors to call you before opening new accounts or changing existing accounts.
- Trans Union – 800.680.7289
- Experian – 888.397.3742
- Equifax – 800.525.6285
- Check your credit report regularly. Under federal law, consumers are entitled to receive one free comprehensive credit file from each of the above national credit bureaus once every 12 months. You may request your free annual credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling (877) FACTACT.
We are here to help
It is our goal to keep consumers informed and educated to take the right precautions to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and account fraud. The unauthorized use of someone’s identity is a very serious matter to Great Nations Bank. If you have any questions, please contact our bank Monday thru Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm Central Time, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.