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Protect Your IdentityDecember 1, 2020
With people remaining at home and the convenience of online shopping becoming ever more popular, identity theft and fraud are on the rise. Identity theft is a crime in which another person steals your personal information to commit fraud. Millions of U.S. residents report that their identity has been stolen and used for various type of fraud annually.
The most prevalent type of fraud includes medical and insurance fraud, which uses your health insurance number or Medicare ID to receive medical services or fraudulently bill your provider, and credit card fraud, which entails opening a new account or using an existing account to make fraudulent charges in your name. Other types of fraud include government and benefit, employment and tax, phone and utilities, and banking and loan.
There are several strategies and best practices that you can follow to avoid identity theft and protect yourself from fraud:
- Monitor you credit reports and scores. You can access your credit report for free when you log into your online banking or our app.
- Monitor your financial statements. Review financial transactions carefully and correct any errors by contacting your financial institution promptly.
- Practice password safety. Log into your email and online banking accounts regularly and change your passwords every few months. Remember to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess.
- Be cautious online. Do not click on links or download files from unknown or suspicious senders. Try not use public wi-fi for sensitive documents or accessing online bank accounts.
- Secure your documents. Keep your sensitive information in a safe place. Don’t carry your Social Security card with you. Remember to shred sensitive documents. Remember to shred sensitive documents once you no longer need them; do not discard or recycle them.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Cover the ATM keypad when entering your PIN and keep an eye out for “shoulder surfers” in public spaces who may be watching you key in your phone’s passcode or credit card information.