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Preventing Identity Theft

Identity theft is when someone other than you uses your social security number, online passwords, name, or any other identifying information with the intention of passing as you in order to commit fraud or theft. Almost all victims of Identity theft spend a long time clearing their names and credit, so it is very important to how to prevent such a life altering crime from occurring. The first preventive measure you can make in protecting your identity is knowing your credit score. Checking your credit score annually or setting it up so that you get alerts sent to you whenever there is a change in your credit activity is a great way to maintain control over your financial profile. You can view your credit score within Online Banking by visiting the Savvy Money portal.

Important Tips:

  • Copy your important financial information: Keep a copy of important financial information in a secure place can be extremely helpful if sensitive information is lost or stolen.
  • Make a backup copy of important and sensitive computer files. In the event your computer is damaged or the data corrupted, your backup will help you recover lost files and protect against fraud.

Identities are often stolen from the garbage. Shredding less obvious documents such as credit card offers and receipts can help prevent dumpster diving thieves from gaining access to your sensitive information.

Keeping Your Money Safe

As your financial partner, helping you keep your money safe is one of our goals. By following some of the rules found in the check list below will help you keep yourself and your cash safe at all times.

Important Tips:

Always stay alert when walking into and out of our branch offices.

When accessing an ATM or branch office be aware of what is going on around you. If you see or suspect any suspicious activity, call 911.

Do not share your Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) or account passwords with anyone.

This number is the key to your most valuable information. When asked to provide that information, request the option to supply another form of identifying information—many companies would be happy to oblige.

Do not include your driver’s license or social security numbers on your pre-printed personal checks.

Limit the amount of credit cards and identifying information you carry with you at all times. Your Social Security card should be kept at home in a secure place at all times.

  • Stay Alert:
  • Be aware of your surroundings:
  • Never share your Personal Identification Numbers (PINs):
  • Protect your Social Security Number:
  • Personal checks:
  • Lighten your load:

Protect Yourself While Online

When you are online, it is very important to remember some important guidelines to follow in order to protect your information and identity.

Important Tips:

Never include sensitive information in emails. Always be cautious of emails asking for personal information, and never open or respond to SPAM or other unsolicited messages. Email is often the means used to transmit malware and commit fraud. You can never tell if you can trust an email? Is it coming from a known sender? Does the design look poor or are there errors in grammar and spelling? These are often indicators that the integrity of an email is in question.

When registering for a website or making a purchase online, there is often an option for the website to “remember” your personal information, password or credit card number for future log-ins and purchases. Choosing not to participate in this feature can further protect your information from being used fraudulently in case of a future breach of information.

When visiting a financial institutions website, always look directly at the browser or via a link in your email to make sure that there’s an “s” after the “http.” This one little letter insures that the site is secure. If you don’t see the “s,” don’t log in. Close your browser and try the address again. Thieves are sneaky. Paying attention to this one little detail can make all the difference.

The stronger your password, the better. Selecting a strong password can safeguard your sensitive information from being accessed by identity thieves and used fraudulently. Never use the same username and/or password login credentials on multiple websites. Also, periodically change your username and password on websites you frequently visit.

When you have completed any personal business functions, be sure to log completely off all websites that access your personal or sensitive information. If only stepping away from your computer for a short while, locking the screen from other users is also a way of protecting your information.

  • Protect your privacy:
  • Opt out of website “remembering” features:
  • Look for the “s” When visiting a financial institution websites:
  • Create strong passwords:
  • Always log off:

Look out for Phishing Scams

A phishing scam is an email or websites designed with a trusted image or logo to fool the recipient into relinquishing personal financial information such as credit card or account information. Phishing can also come in the form of solicited phone calls. In this instance, if you suspect something “phishy” is going on, take the agents name and number then call the organization they claimed to be representing and verify the information you were just told.

Important Tips to Avoid Internet phishing scams:

Disregard emails that are marked “urgent” that require personal identifying information.

If an email appears to be questionable, do not click any of the links within the email.

To protect from viruses and spyware programs on your computer, install a firewall.

Always review your financial statements regularly to check for unusual activity.

Don’t submit email forms that request personal information.

If you suspect an email or website is a phishing scam, report it immediately!

Cell/smartphones are the latest avenue that scammers are using to obtain your valuable banking information. This form of fraud, known as “SMiShing” (SMS + phishing).

  • Beware of emails marked “urgent”:
  • Questionable emails:
  • Install firewall:
  • Review your financial statements:
  • Be observant of email forms:
  • Suspect you have received a phishing email:

Important Tips:

If you receive a text message from a party pretending to be your financial institution, don’t provide them with any of your personal information. A financial institution will not contact you requesting account information via a text message.

The message will indicate that your web service has expired or reactivation of your credit or debit card is necessary, and prompts you to click a link to update your account information. Don’t respond to this text with any of your personal information. Your financial institution will never request that you set up your account access again via a text message.


This message will prompt you to call an 800 number and speak to a third party in order to provide your account access information. Once you have state your information, the scammers have obtained what they need to access your account and funds. Your financial institution will never send you a text message informing you to chat with a third party about your account information.

  • Text message scams:
  • Messages requesting that you need to reactive your account:
  • Text message requesting that you call an third party:

Important Resources

Find updated information on fraud alerts on the following websites:<

The Federal Trade Commission or The Federal Bureau of Investigation

Victim of identity theft visit the following websites:

The Federal Trade Commission or The credit Bureaus: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian.

If you suspect a phishing scam visit the following website:

Forward all phishing emails to the The Federal Trade Commission and the Internet Fraud Complaint Center of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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