What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal information, such as your Social Security Number, Bank Account Number, Credit Card Number, or other identification and uses it to open accounts or initiate transactions in your name.
Tips to help reduce your risk of Identity Theft:
- Report lost or stolen debit/credit cards immediately.
- Watch credit card expiration dates. If you don't receive a replacement card prior to the date, contact the issuer.
- Sign all new debit/credit cards immediately.
- Keep a list of your credit cards, expiration dates and customer service phone numbers. Keep in a secure place and use to contact in case of lost or stolen cards.
- Never reveal your bank account number, credit card number, mother's maiden name, or Social Security number over the telephone (unless dealing with a trusted business).
- Do not carry your Social Security Card or Birth Certificate. Keep them in a safe place.
- Do not leave debit or credit card receipts. Take them with you.
- Notify your financial institution if you do not receive your monthly statements.
- Shred unwanted documents that contain personal information.
- Review your Consumer Credit Reports regularly.
- When creating passwords or PINS, do not use Social Security numbers, mother's maiden name, date of birth, or any part of your name (first, middle, last).
- Beware of mail, e-mail, or telephone calls informing you of prizes or awards, especially if they ask for personal or financial account information.
Phishing is a method of e-mail fraud in which the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking e-mail in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients.
Here are some tips to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:
- Do not reply to e-mail or pop-up messages that ask for personal financial information, and do not click on links in the message. Don't cut and paste a link from the message into you web browser; phishers can make links look like they go one place, but actually send your to a different site.
- Some scammers send an e-mail that appears to be from a legitimate business and asks you to call a phone number to update your account or access a "refund." If you need to reach an organization you do business with, call the number on your financial statements or on the back of your credit card.
- Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them all regularly.
- Don't e-mail personal or financial information.
- Review your bank account and credit card statements immediately for unauthorized charges.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from e-mails you receive regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computer's security.
Information on Reporting Scams or Identity Theft
- The Missouri Bank customers should contact us immediately at 636-456-3441, if you believe your account information has been compromised. The Bank will assist you in closing your account and provide you with contact information for agencies that can help if you have become an identity theft victim.
- Forward phishing e-mails to email@example.com and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing e-mail. Most organizations have information on their websites about where to report problems. You also may report phishing e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Anti-Phishing Working Group, a consortium of ISP's, security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies, uses these reports to fight phishing.
- If you believe you have been scammed, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.complaint, then visit the FTC's identity theft website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft. Victims of phishing can become victims of identity theft. While you can't entirely control whether you will become a victim of identity theft, you can take some steps to minimize your risk. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, these new accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You can catch an incident early if you order a free copy of your credit report periodically from any of the three major credit reporting companies. See http://www.annualcreditreport.com for details on ordering a free annual credit report.
- To report fraud to the Credit Bureau, call:
- Experian 1-888-397-3742
- Transunion 1-800-680-7289
- Equifax 1-800-525-6285