Learn How to Protect Yourself
Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal information. This often includes your full name, birthdate, financial account numbers, social security number (SSN), or any other pertinent details cybercriminals can use to falsely obtain various types of credit in your name. This information is then used by the thief to:
•Open new accounts, such as bank, credit cards, or loans, using the acquired information.
•Conduct unauthorized transactions on an account or attempt to empty an existing account.
•Common tactics used by criminals to obtain the personal details they need are by stealing purses or wallets, intercepting or redirecting mail, or going through the garbage. It can also be obtained if you communicate, shop, or do business online.
•Safeguard your personal information. Only share it when you’ve made the initial contact, knowing how, where, and why it will be used.
•Do not give out your Driver's License Number or Social Security Number, unless it is critical the individual requires the information. Don’t be afraid to ask why they need the information and how it will be used.
•You should not carry any sensitive information with you in a wallet.
•It’s wise to review your credit report annually.
•Check your bank accounts and statements regularly for any unauthorized transactions. Reconciling your checkbook is still a good financial habit.
•Make it a habit to shred any documents that contain your personal information, including any cards that have expired, receipts, pay stubs, or direct mail solicitations for credit cards. Be sure to check with your tax consultant to verify how long you should retain financial documents for tax purposes. Just be sure they are kept in a safe, secure filing system.
•Do not let your mail stay in the mailbox for any length of time. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, ask a family member or neighbor to retrieve your mail. For outgoing mail, deposit it for delivery at the post office or in a mailbox clearly marked for U.S. Postal Service delivery.
Reporting Identity Theft
•Call the nearest First Bank branch location as soon as possible or call 1-800-760-2265.
•Report it by calling the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338.
•Report the theft of mail to your local postal inspector.
•The identity theft should be reported to the top three credit bureaus. It’s recommended to request a copy of your credit report from each of the bureaus. The credit bureaus will make a notation on your credit report, requesting verification on all potential applications for credit.
•Phone: 1-800-525-6285 to report fraud.
•Phone: 800-685-1111 to request a copy of your credit report.
•Phone: 888-397-3742 to report fraud and request a copy of your credit report.
•Phone: 800-680-7289 to report fraud.
•Phone: 800-916-8800 to request a copy of your credit report.