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Identity protection

We’re taking steps to protect your identity, and you should take steps too.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your identity to commit fraud. Stealing your identity could mean using personal information without your permission, such as: your name, Social Security number and credit card number. Identity thieves may rent apartments, get credit cards, withdraw funds from accounts or create new accounts in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your account or loan statements or credit report and notice accounts you didn’t open or charges you didn’t make. You also might learn about identity theft if you’re contacted by a debt collector.

We take the protection of your account and personal information seriously. We continuously take action to protect your account from misuse. Here’s what we’re doing and steps you can take to help prevent identity theft.

Steps you should take to protect your identity:

  1. Monitor your bank, investment, loan, and credit card accounts frequently.
  2. - Sign up for activity alerts and use all other security benefits on your accounts.
    - Look for any unauthorized access or activity by reviewing statements and online account activity.
    - Notify your financial institution immediately if you spot anything suspicious.
  3. Check your credit report regularly.
  4. - Review your credit reports to look for unauthorized accounts or activity you do not recognize.
    - Visit annualcreditreport.com to check your credit report for free.
    - Visit IdentityTheft.gov for detailed action to take if you believe your identity may have been stolen.
  5. Be cautious about sharing account information.
  6. - Financial institutions and government agencies will not ask you to share your personal information over the phone or by email, text or social message. They may call you about suspicious transactions. If you are unsure of the identity of the caller, call the phone number you have for your financial institution.
    - Financial institutions never ask for account information through email, text or social message. If you receive this type of message, you should immediately contact your financial institutions (using a customer service number that you get from a different source than this message) and report it.
    - Don’t believe anyone who calls and says you will be arrested unless you pay taxes for a debt—even if they have part or all of your Social Security numbers, or they say they are from the IRS.
  7. Consider placing a credit freeze.
  8. - A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a fraudulent account in your name. Here’s how it works. If a thief tries to open a credit card using your information, the credit card company will want to see your credit report. If you have a credit freeze in effect, the credit card company won’t be able to see your credit report and likely will decline the credit card the thief is trying to open in your name.
    - Please note that a credit freeze won’t prevent an identity thief from making fraudulent charges to your existing credit card or bank account, so monitor your accounts closely.
  9. Consider a fraud alert.
  10. - If you place a fraud alert on your credit files, creditors will be alerted that you may have had your identity stolen. They should ask for extra verification that someone seeking credit in your name is you and not a fraudster.
  11. Protect your personal information.
  12. - Keep financial documents and records locked and secure, so that no one else can access your information, including roommates or visitors to your home.
    - Shred receipts, credit card offers and applications, checks, bank statements and other paper that has your personal information on it.
    - Protect your online information by encrypting your data and using secure browsers.
    - Dispose of computers and devices only after they are completely wiped of all of your personal information.
    - See more tips from the Federal Trade Commission.
  13. Use a strong password for your financial accounts.
  14. - Use unique passwords that you do not use for your email, phone or other online sites.
    - Use a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and special characters.
    - Change these passwords regularly.
    - Don’t write down your passwords or share with others.
    - Create passwords that will be hard for others to guess (not password or 123456).
    - Use two-factor authentication. If you sign up for extra password security, after you enter your password you’re sent a code via text or email.
  15. File taxes as early as possible.
  16. - Once you’ve compiled the necessary documentation, file your taxes as soon as possible. Identity thieves may try to use your Social Security number to file and receive a false tax return in your name. If you’ve already filed, they won’t be able to.

There are a number of activities you should take to help prevent identity theft. Be assured that we’re monitoring your account and taking steps as well. Together we can work to protect your personal information.

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