Preventing Identity Theft
Here are a few steps that can help you protect your personal information:
- Don't respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birthdate, social security number, or bank account number) by phone, mail, or online.
- Keep your social security number in a secure location. Don't carry your social security card in your wallet or write your number on your checks. Only give out your SSN when necessary.
- Watch out for "shoulder surfers." Shield the keypad when entering your password on a computer or your PIN in an ATM or point of sale device.
- Ask the post office to hold your mail when you're away from home. Always collect your mail as soon as possible.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
- Review your receipts and promptly compare them with your account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions. Using Lee County Bank's online banking or mobile app will give you up to date activity on your account(s).
- Shred anything that contains your personal information or account numbers. This includes receipts, credit offers, account statements, and expired credit/debit cards. This will prevent "dumpster divers" from getting your personal information.
- Install firewalls, anti-virus and malware detection software on your home computer. Lee County Bank offers Trusteer Rapport free to online banking customers. Trusteer Rapport is a malware detection software.
- Passwords should be complex and something that a thief could not guess easily. Ex. Hawkeyes are number 1 could be H@wkIsr#1
- Order your credit report once a year and review it to be certain that it doesn't include accounts that you have not opened.
Are You a Victim of Identity Theft?
If you are a victim of identity theft, report it immediately. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and your local police department are critical in filing the complaint.
You may also report specific types of identity theft to other agencies. They are:
- Long-term Care Identity Theft – Report a claim to the long-term care ombudsman in your state, if the theft was a result of a stay in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
- Medical Identity Theft – Contact your health insurance company's fraud department or Medicare's fraud office.
- Tax Identity Theft – Report this type of ID theft to the IRS and your state's Department of Taxation or Revenue.
You should also report any identity theft to the following entities:
- Credit Reporting Agencies
- Your financial institution
- Retailers and other companies where the identity thief created accounts, opened credit accounts, or even applied for jobs.
- State Consumer Protection Offices or Attorney General.