Identity theft is real and growing. Below are some proven tips to help safeguard your personal and financial information so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
- Do not provide your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary.
- Do not provide bank account, debit card, or credit card information over the phone or through email unless you initiated the conversation. At First Community Bank, we will never call you and ask for account information. If you are uncomfortable with a phone call that was not initiated by you, hang up or ask for the purpose of the call. Then contact the company using legitimate sources such as contact phone numbers found on the company’s website, your bank statements, and those listed on your ATM, debit or credit card.
- Carry only necessary information with you. Leave your Social Security card and unused credits cards in a safe and secure location.
- Make photocopies (front and back) of vital information you carry regularly and store them in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box. Then, if your purse or wallet is lost or stolen, you have contact information and account numbers readily available.
- Replace paper invoices, statements and checks with electronic versions, if offered by your employer, bank, utility provider or merchant.
- Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. Many fraud and identity theft incidents happen as a result of mail and garbage theft.
- Review your credit report at least once a year to look for suspicious or unknown transactions. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.
These are just a few tips to protect your personal information safe. If you should become a victim of Identity Theft, notify your bank and credit card provider immediately.