What is identity theft?
Simply put, it’s the use of another person’s personal information for fraudulent purposes, most often without their knowledge.
How can your identity be stolen?
- Stolen wallets or purses
- Stolen mail
- Residential trash or the trash of local businesses
- Fraudulently obtained credit reports
- Business or personal records from your workplace
- Personal information shared over the internet
- Through “phishing” schemes that obtain your information via email and websites
If your identity is stolen, the thief can:
- Open a new credit card account and make purchases without paying the bills, which would then be your responsibility.
- Authorize a Change of Address form and divert mail to delay discovery of unauthorized activity.
- Establish phone or wireless services.
- Open new bank accounts and write fraudulent checks.
- Apply for loans to make large purchases in your name.
You can avoid identity theft by:
- Learning how your personal information will be used and whether it will be shared with others.
- Contacting your financial institution if you suspect a request for personal information is fraudulent.
- Paying attention to billing cycles and following up with creditors if bills do not arrive on time.
- Depositing outgoing mail at the post office.
- Limiting the amount of identifying information and credit cards you carry.
- Not giving out personal information via phone, mail or over the internet to undisclosed sources.
- Requesting a copy of your credit report annually from any one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Transunion).
- Reporting suspicious emails and calls to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
If you become a victim of identity theft, immediately contact:
- The fraud departments of Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
- Your creditors.
- Your local police to file a report.
- Anywhere you hold an account with a compromised password; close the account and open a new one with a unique password.
Remember, BNB is committed to confidentiality