Identity Theft

Nearly one American every minute is a victim of identity theft.  The thieves don’t need much.  A receipt you left behind.  A bill mailed from your mailbox.  A missing check.  Information provided over the Internet to strangers.  You get the idea. 

Identity theft, also called “account takeover fraud,” involves criminals stealing individuals’ personal credit information and assuming their identities by applying for credit in their names, running up huge bills, stiffing creditors and generally wrecking victims’ credit histories.

Simple Steps to Safeguard Your Identity

At Central Bank, we put a combination of safeguards in place to protect customers, including employee training, rigorous security standards, data encryption and fraud detection.  You can take these steps to avoid becoming a victim:

Trans Union              800-680-7289
Experian                    888-397-3742
Equifax                      800-525-6285

Restoring your identity can be a tremendous inconvenience.  It’s worth your while to exercise a little preventive maintenance.  Protect yourself against this terrible crime.

Steps to Take if You are a Victim

If you suspect misuse of your personal information to commit fraud, take action immediately.  Keep a record of all conversations and correspondence when you take the following suggested steps:

 

Be sure to indicate to the bank or card issuer all of the accounts and/or cards potentially impacted including ATM cards, debit cards and credit cards.  Customer service or fraud prevention telephone numbers can generally be found on your monthly statements.  Contact the major check verification companies to request they notify retailers using their databases not to accept these stolen checks.  Three of the check verification companies that accept reports of check fraud directly from consumers are:

Telecheck                                         800-710-9898
International Check Services              800-631-9656
Equifax                                              800-437-5120

 

Trans Union                                      800-680-7289
Experian                                            888-397-3742
Equifax                                              800-525-6285

You may also contact the FTC’s ID Theft Consumer Response Center toll-free at (877) IDTHEFT.

 

We hope you find these steps in safeguarding your identity helpful in managing and minimizing further risk and exposure.  For more personal finance tips, visit the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Connection at www.aba.com.