Identity Theft . . . . . .
Tips For Preventing Payment Card Fraud
Here are some tips to help you reduce the chance of fraudulent
activity on your Debit Card Accounts:
Keep your card in view at all times when making a purchase.
Memorize your passwords and personal identification numbers
(PINs) so you do not have to write them down. Make sure that no one is
watching you input your PIN.
Never sign a blank receipt slip. Draw a line through any
blank amount lines that appear above the total amount line.
Save all of your receipts so you can refer to them at a
later time. Never discard your receipt in a public trash container.
Avoid saying your account number at a merchant location or
over the phone if others can hear.
Use automatic teller machines (ATMs) during daylight hours,
if possible, or choose a location that is well-lit at night. Physically
inspect the ATM reader for any type of suspicious adaptation, and ensure
that no one is standing close to you when conducting the transaction.
Maintaining Online Security
Here are some tips to ensure that your online shopping
experience remains safe and enjoyable:
Make sure that you are doing business with a reputable
Internet merchant. Check with the Better Business Bureau or state and local
consumer agencies, and look for the following information on the website to
check if a merchant is reputable:
Information about the offer - Make sure that you learn all
you can about the offer, and how to contact the company if you have a
Information about the merchant - Find the company's address
and telephone number.
Your computer browser can tell you if the place where you
are about to send the information is secure. If you cannot determine this,
do not put your payment card information over the Internet.
Guard your personal information. Don't provide information
that you are uncomfortable giving. Never give anyone personal passwords.
Keep records. Print out all information about online
Pay with a payment card - as this is often the safest way to
pay online. In North America, the cardholder has the right to dispute
charges if the goods or services were misrepresented or never delivered. And
cardholders are not responsible for fraudulent purchases made on their
Be careful of e-mail requests for personal information,
especially when they come from companies that should already possess such
data. Do not click on the links provided in such e-mails.
Preventing Identity Theft
Here are some guidelines to keep thieves from getting your
Never leave your purse or wallet unattended, and don't carry
your Social Security card, birth certificate, or passport in your wallet or
purse unless it's absolutely necessary. If your Social Security card or
driver's license is missing, contact the appropriate agency immediately.
Sign your credit and debit cards in permanent ink as soon as
you receive them. Do not write your credit or debit card account number on a
check, or use it for identification when paying by other means.
Call your card issuer if a new or reissued card does not
arrive when expected, and be sure to cancel any inactive payment card
Never throw away receipts in a public trash container. When
disposing of receipts or old statements, destroy the areas where the account
number is visible.
Make a note of when your financial statements arrive each
month. If your statements stop arriving, contact your bank immediately.
Check those statements frequently and carefully. If you find an unauthorized
or questionable transaction, call the appropriate organizations immediately.
Never give any payment card, bank, or Social Security
information to anyone by telephone, even if you made the call, unless you
can positively verify that the call is legitimate and there is a true need
for the information.
Keep a list of all your credit accounts and bank accounts in
a secure place, with account numbers, expiration dates, and telephone
numbers of customer service and fraud departments.
Obtain a copy of your credit report once a year from one of
the three national credit bureaus. If the report data is incorrect, write
the credit bureau immediately and keep a copy of your letter.
What To Do If You Suspect Fraudulent
Call your financial institution immediately. It may want to
cancel your current card and mail you a new one. Check to verify that your
mailing address has not been changed.
Contact the three national credit bureaus to let them know
you are a victim of fraud. They will place a "Fraud Alert" on your file. You
can also requests copies of your report, which you should review carefully.
You can contact the credit bureaus at:
Equifax, (800) 525-6285 or P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA
Experian, (888) 397-3742 or P.O. Box 949, Allen, TX
Trans Union, (800) 680-7289 or Fraud Victim Assistance
Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834
Diligently check your statements in the months following to
make sure the problem has been completely resolved.
Report the fraudulent activity to the proper authorities,
such as Police, Social Security Administration (if your SSN has been stolen)
or the Federal Trade Commission (877-438-4338) in the case of identity
FFIEC Brochure Is Now Available With
Information On Internet "Phishing"
The federal banking, thrift, and credit union regulatory
agencies have published an informational brochure to assist consumers in
identifying and preventing a new type of Internet fraud known as "phishing".
The brochure explains the basics of "phishing", the steps
consumers can take to protect themselves, and the actions that consumers can
take if they become a victim of identity theft. The brochure, Internet Pirates
Are Trying To Steal Your Information, is available in a downloadable form
through the Federal Reserve Board's Web Site:
(You will leave Advantage Bank's Website)