Identity Theft

Your personal safety is important to us. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation and even though it is a felony to take another person’s identity, it’s a common crime. We would like to make you aware of identity theft and ways to prevent being a victim.

How can someone steal my identity?

  • Break into your home.
  • Take your identification from your wallet or purse.
  • Intercept bills from your mailbox.
  • Go through your trash to find personal information.
  • Call you on the phone pretending to be from a bank or other credit grantor and get personal information.
  • Change your mailing address without you knowing it to receive your statements and bills.
  • Steal personal records from your employer.
  • Find unsecured internet sites containing personal information.

What does the criminal do with my information?

  • Apply for credit cards/loans for themselves using your name.
  • Use their address as if it were yours to get your billing statements.
  • Buy merchandise using your credit card or credit card number.
  • Get phone and other utility service at their residence in your name.

How to Prevent Identity Theft.

  • Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write it on your checks. Only give out your SSN when absolutely necessary.
  • Protect your pin. never write a pin on a credit/debit card or on a slip of paper kept in your wallet.
  • Watch out for "shoulder surfers". use your free hand to shield the keypad when using pay phones and atms.
  • Collect mail promptly. Ask the post office to put your mail on hold when you are away from home for more than a day or two.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
  • Keep your receipts. Ask for carbons and incorrect charge slips as well. Promptly compare receipts with account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions.
  • Tear up or shred unwanted receipts, credit offers, account statements, expired cards, etc., to prevent dumpster divers getting your personal information.
  • Store personal information in a safe place at home and at work. Don't leave it lying around.
  • Don't respond to unsolicited requests for personal information in the mail, over the phone or online.
  • Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
  • Check your credit report* once a year. Check it more frequently if you suspect someone has gotten access to your account information.
*Many states allow a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.


To order a copy of your credit report, contact:

Equifax
800-685-1111
www.equifax.com

Experian
888-397-3742
www.experian.com

TransUnion
800-888-4213
www.transunion.com

How to Report Identity Theft

  • Report it to your financial institution. Call the phone number on your account statement or on the back of your credit or debit card.
  • Report the fraud to your local police immediately. Keep a copy of the police report, which will make it easier to prove your case to creditors and retailers.
  • Contact the credit-reporting bureaus and ask them to flag your account with a fraud alert, which asks merchants not to grant new credit without your approval.

What is an Internet "PHISHING" Scam?

Internet phishing scams are one of the fastest-growing frauds today. Phishing (pronounced "fishing") typically involves a false email message that uses a company's Web site graphics and logos falsely. These fraudsters attempt to entice you to provide personal financial details; such as credit card numbers, account usernames and passwords, or social security numbers; so that they can steal your identity.

The Department of Justice advises email users to "stop, look and call" if they receive a suspicious e-mail.

  • Stop. Resist the urge to immediately respond to a suspicious email and to provide the information requested despite urgent or exaggerated claims.
  • Look. Read the text of the email several times and ask yourself why the information requested would really be needed. Phishing emails sometimes have poor grammar or misspellings and this is a warning sign to you that it is false.
  • Call. Telephone the organization identified in the e-mail, using a phone number you know to be legitimate.

For more information on Identity Theft, Online Fraud and Phishing Scams, visit the following sites:

SouthCrest Bank does not contact customers via email requesting a customer to provide personal secure information, such as a Social Security number, Online Banking passwords or PIN numbers.

Disclaimer

You are leaving the SouthCrest Bank website. SouthCrest Bank is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information or graphics when viewing links attached to SouthCrest Bank’s website.

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