Keep Your Financial Information Safe
In 2014, 17.6 million Americans experienced identity theft, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics*. If you are a victim of identity theft, recovering your personal information and money is a huge undertaking. First National Bank in Fairfield can give you the tools to stop identity theft in its tracks.
Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft
The first key to preventing identity theft is to pay attention to your personal and financial information and be cautious of who you share your information with.
- Take care of your Social Security Number: Never give out your Social Security number to someone you don’t know and never carry your Social Security card on your person.
- Monitor your mail: Your bills and statements should arrive around the same time each month, so take notice if patterns change. Additionally, you should always shred mail that contains your personal or financial information and stop your mail when you know you will be traveling.
How to Report Identity Theft
If you notice signs that your identity or financial information may have been used without your knowledge, you need to act immediately. The faster you act, the sooner you can start recovering your identity.
- Contact a National Credit Bureau: There are three national credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—and you’ll need to contact one of them to have them flag your credit report for a fraud alert, which lasts 90 days. Once you contact one of the bureaus, they will notify the other two.
- The Credit Report: Getting a copy of your credit from the three national bureaus will help you see if there are any inconsistencies. If you notice something incorrect, contact the bureau directly.
- The Identity Theft Report: Filing an identity theft report is critical, as it is the first step in getting fraudulent activity from your credit report removed. An identity theft report is made up of two documents
- A Federal Trade Commission Complaint
- A local police report from where the identity theft occurred. You’ll need to take your FTC complaint with you when you file the police report.
Debit & Credit Card Security
Your credit and debit cards are valuable tools that can help you make quick transactions at businesses all over the world, but they need to be used responsibly. Don’t ever give out your credit card or debit card information to someone you don’t know or trust, be it a person or a website asking for your information. If you have lost your card, or you believe your information has compromised, please call 800-236-2442 for debit cards and 1-800-847-2911 for credit cards.
Other Internet Banking Safety Items
From using strong passwords and using a secure computer to following guidelines to avoid phishing scams, there is a lot you need to be aware of to make sure your financial information is protected. Please read through our helpful guide to learn more about how you can protect your information.
*Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics