Tools to Prevent Identity Theft
According to the 2017 Identity Theft Study by Javelin Strategy & Research, 15.4 million Americans experienced identity theft in 2016. Approximately $16 billion was stolen. As the incidence rate of identity theft continues to increase every year, banks are taking great measures to protect your identity and accounts against fraud. To name a few: stringent bank privacy policies to protect your personal financial information, online password protection and the encryption of online transactions that converts your information into secure code.
Prevent These Crimes Before They Happen
For financial institutions, maximum security is only possible with your help. The following nine precautions can help stop identity theft in its tracks.
- Don’t share your card numbers or SSN with anyone, unless you know the source is legitimate.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately, so your bank can block payment on them.
- Notify your bank of suspicious phone calls that ask for account information for “verification”.
- Closely guard your PIN at the ATM and keep your receipts.
- Shred financial solicitations and bank statements after review.
- Put outgoing mail in a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
- If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why.
- If your bills include questionable items, investigate immediately to prevent further fraud.
- Periodically contact the major credit report companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to review your file and make sure the information is correct.
FACT Act Helps to Fight Identity Theft
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction (FACT) Act was passed in 2003 to help prevent identity theft. Endorsed by Congress and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers can receive a free copy of their credit report from the three major agencies because of FACT.
Another FACT Act measure against identity theft is the National Fraud Alert System. If you believe you are the victim of identity theft or are a military member away on active duty, you can place a credit alert. As a result, creditors will know to be cautious when granting credit to someone who claims to be you.
If you have any questions about protecting your financial identity, contact Ion Bank today!
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