Identity theft is a federal crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses personal information in a fraudulent or deceptive manner, usually for economic gain. It is reported to be the world’s fastest growing crime. The most common way thieves steal personal information online is through spoof emails, spoof websites, social engineering and other scams.
Educating yourself is the first line of defense against identity theft. Become familiar with and aware of any current issues or security threats that exist by visiting the following sites:
- Leave items like unused credit/debit cards and your social security card at home or in a secure location such as a safe deposit box.
- When traveling consider purchasing a re-loadable travel debit card instead of using a debit card that is attached to your checking account.
- Do not provide your Social Security Number unless absolutely necessary.
- Don’t respond to suspicious (“phishing”) emails.
- Beware of suspicious (“spoofed”) websites.
- Keep your personal computer updated with the latest anti-virus definitions.
- Don’t share personal information on social networking sites.
- Replace paper statements and invoices with electronic versions.
- Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. Fraud and identity theft often occur due to mail or garbage theft.
- Avoid downloading files from unknown sources.
- Always verify you are on a secure site when conducting transactions. A secure site begins with “https” rather than “http”.
- Place outgoing mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox to reduce the chance of mail theft.
- Retrieve your mail in a timely fashion in order to limit the opportunity for theft.
- Know your billing and statement cycles. Contact the company’s customer service department if you stop receiving your regular bill or statement.
- Once a year review your credit report to look for unknown or suspicious activity. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus.
How to Report Identity Theft
Identity theft is a serious matter to Islanders Bank. If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, please take the following actions:
- Call the fraud department of one of the three major credit reporting agencies and ask them to put a “fraud alert” on your file. This tells creditors to call you before they open any accounts in your name.
- Equifax: To report fraud, call 1-800-525-6285. To order a report call 1-800-685-1111.
- Experian: To order a report or to report fraud, call 1-888-397-3742.
- TransUnion: To report fraud, call 1-800-680-7289. To order your report, call 1-800-916-8800.
- Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-ID-THEFT
- Report the incident to Islanders Bank at 1-800-843-5441.
- Notify your local law enforcement agency and ask to file an Identity Theft Report.
Other Security Tips
- Keep your Internet browser up to date to take advantage of the latest security patches and enhancements.
- Take all necessary steps to keep your computer free from viruses or worms that might be used to capture password keystrokes or transmit information from your computer’s hard drive.
- Be suspicious of emails requesting account or password information. Do not ever provide account information, PINS or passwords in an email.
- Be careful where you access your Online Banking accounts. Do not use a public internet access computer or rented computer. Computers can be configured to capture private information from unsuspecting internet users.
- Shred all printed documents with account information before discarding them.