We want to make sure our customers are aware of the dangers of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when criminals find a way to steal your personal or other identifying information to access your accounts, open new accounts, apply for credit in your name, make purchases, and commit other fraud related crimes.
The best defense against identity theft is knowledge. The following tips and information will help you prevent identity theft:
- Sign debit and credit cards immediately after they arrive.
- Track credit, debit and ATM receipts and never throw them in a public trash bin.
- Keep an eye on your debit or credit card until the merchant completes your transaction, and make sure you get your card back.
- Do not keep passwords or ATM PINs in your wallet, purse, desk or organizer.
- Report lost or stolen checks or ATM, debit and credit cards immediately. Review new checks to make sure none were stolen in transit. Be aware of the expiration date on your debit or credit card; if you do not receive a reissued card before the expiration date, notify customer service.
- Monitor your transactions for unauthorized use. Online Banking makes it easy to review your transactions online daily.
- Check your credit reports.
Oak Bank recommends that you periodically check your credit report. You can obtain a copy of your credit report at any time from one of the three major credit bureaus:
- Equifax: (800) 685-1111 or www.equifax.com
- Experian: (888) 397-3742 or www.experian.com
- TransUnion: (800) 916-8800 or www.transunion.com
- Pay attention to your billing and account statement cycles. If regular bills or statements stop reaching you, take action. Call the company's customer service number. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail.
- Guard your mail from theft. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office rather than in an unsecured mailbox. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. If you're planning to be away from home and can't pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service at (800) 275-8777 to request a vacation hold.
- Be alert for email hoaxes and suspicious phone inquiries. These may appear to come from a trusted business or friend, but actually are designed to trick you into providing sensitive information, downloading a virus or jumping to a fraudulent Web site.
- Don't provide personal or financial information to anyone unless you initiated the contact. When you call us, come to a branch or visit us online, we may ask for some information to verify your identity. But we want to assure you that Oak Bank does not call you or send you an email asking you to send us a response containing personal or private information.
- Protect your Social Security Number. Don't list it on your checks or carry your Social Security Number card unless you need it. Give your Social Security Number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible.
- Shred unnecessary financial documents, including old bank statements, invoices, charge receipts, checks, unwanted pre-approved credit offers, and expired charge cards before disposing of them.
- Pay your bills online. This lessens the risk of theft of your personal information through the mail, by sending payments electronically directly to billers. In addition, payments are easy to track online.
- Choose unique passwords to access your accounts online. Don't use any part of your Social Security number, birth date, middle name, names of spouses, children or pets, consecutive numbers or anything else that a thief could easily discover. Choose passwords that are difficult for others to guess and use a different password for each of your online accounts. Use both letters and numbers. Do not share your IDs or passwords with anyone.
- Do not send sensitive personal or financial information unless it is encrypted on a secure Web site. Encryption scrambles the information being sent over the Internet so others cannot intercept and capture your information. Look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet address begins with "https." This signals that your information is secure during transmission.
If you suspect you're a victim of Identity Theft, report the fraud immediately. For more information specific to preventing online fraud, please review our section on Protecting Yourself from Email and Online Fraud.
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