Tips on Protecting Your Information
Identity theft and account fraud are attracting more attention these days. These crimes are committed when someone steals personal information such as your bank account number or Social Security number, then poses as you and takes funds from your account or runs up debt in your name, or both.
Here are some tips that you can use to minimize your risk of identity theft or account fraud:
- Don't give out your checking account, credit card, or Social Security number over the phone unless you initiate the call and know who you're dealing with.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Promptly review all checks when you receive new deliveries of checks to be sure none have been stolen in transit.
- Store cancelled checks – and new checks – in a safe place.
- Notify your financial institutions immediately if you receive a suspicious phone call from someone purporting to represent the institution and asking for account information "to verify a statement" or "award a prize."
- Call the customer service number listed on your account statement if you receive a suspicious e-mail or call from someone who says he or she represents Compass.
- Don't respond to any e-mail that asks for your password, Social Security number or other personal information. You should also be suspicious of any e-mail that sends you information and asks you to update or verify it. These e-mails may appear to come from a trusted friend or business, but are usually designed to trick you into downloading a virus or jumping to a fraudulent website and disclosing personal information.
Open e-mails only when you know the sender. Be especially careful about opening an e-mail with an attachment. While it may list a friend as the sender, it could still contain a virus.
- Guard your ATM Personal Identification number (PIN) and ATM receipts.
- Before throwing them away, tear up financial solicitations you receive in the mail -- and do the same for any other financial statements, invoices, or ATM receipts you wish to discard.
- Don't put outgoing mail in your mailbox. Drop it in a secure Postal Service collection box. Thieves may use your mail to steal your identity information.
- If regular bills fail to reach you, call the companies to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address form to divert your information to his/her address.
- If bills include suspicious items, investigate promptly to head off possible fraud before it occurs.
- Periodically contact the major credit bureaus to review your file and be sure the information is correct. For a small fee, you can obtain a copy of your credit report at any time. The three major credit bureaus are: Equifax (800) 685-1111; Experian (888) 397-3742; and TransUnion (800) 916-8800.
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