The FBI says identity theft is the fastest growing white-collar crime in the nation. Protecting yourself is very important. Leighton State Bank suggests several precautions for helping to protect your identity:
- Do not give out personal information unless you’ve initiated the contact, or feel confident that you’re dealing with a legitimate business.
- Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.
- Review your monthly statements promptly and report anything that you question.
- Shred receipts and account statements before putting them in the trash.
- Keep social security cards and other personal information in a safe place.
- Carry only the identification and credit cards you actually need.
- Use firewalls on your computer, and update virus protection regularly.
- Choose unique passwords for each of your accounts using both numeric and alpha characters.
- Avoid using automatic log-in features that save your username and password.
- Look for the secure ‘lock’ icon when making purchases online.
If you become a victim:
- Contact Leighton State Bank immediately.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit file by contacting any one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax: 1-800-525-6285, Experian: 1-888-397-3742, or TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289).
- File a complaint with the FTC. The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement for investigations. File your claim by calling 1-877-438-4338 or going online at www.ftc.gov/ftc/consumer.htm.
- File a police report in the community where the identity theft took place.