Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identification information, like your name, Social Security number or credit card number, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Here are some ways you can protect yourself:
Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier. Don’t give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or on the internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a web address you know. Keep your anti-spyware and anti-virus software up-to-date. Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for more information.
Don’t use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
If you’re going on vacation or a business trip, call your credit card company(s) and let them know where you’re going and for how long.
What should you do if you are an apparent victim of identity theft? Learn More.
We are proud to be a founding member of the MFPA. Find out more about the MFPA and how you can DASH Fraud. Learn more
As our customer, your card is protected 24/7. Through Fraud Prevention Services, we provide industry leading technology, tools and expertise to manage fraud. Experienced fraud analysts work around the clock, watching for any suspicious card activity and will contact you immediately if they detect potential fraud on your card. In cases where transactions appear to be suspicious, and you are contacted by Fraud Prevention Services, you will be asked for the LAST 4 DIGITS of your social security number to verify your identity. Learn More
If you have any questions about this service, please contact our Customer Care Department at 207-284-4591. The Bank will receive a notification from Fraud Prevention Services whenever they attempt to contact you.
More than 15.4 million Americans were victims of identity fraud last year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. The American Bankers Association is offering eight tips to help consumers protect their information and avoid becoming a victim.
“Identity fraud continues to be a major problem for consumers,” said Doug Johnson, ABA’s senior vice president of payments and cybersecurity policy. “Fortunately, there are ways consumers can protect themselves, like being cautious about what information they share and who they share it with, especially online.”
ABA suggests following these eight tips:
Don't share your secrets
Don’t provide your Social Security number or account information to anyone who contacts you online or over the phone. Protect your PINs and passwords and do not share them with anyone. Use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or personal information on social networking sites.
Shred sensitive papers
Shred receipts, banks statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
Keep an eye out for missing mail
Fraudsters look for monthly bank or credit card statements and other mail containing your financial information. Consider enrolling in online banking to reduce the likelihood of paper statements being stolen. Also, don’t mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.
Use online banking to protect yourself
Monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Sign up for text or email alerts from your bank for certain types of transactions, such as online purchases or transactions of more than $500.
Monitor your credit report
Order a free copy of your credit report every four months from one of the three credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com.
Protect your computer
Make sure the virus protection software on your computer is active and up to date. When conducting business online, make sure your browser’s padlock or key icon is active. Also look for an “s” after the “http” to be sure the website is secure.
Protect your mobile device
Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen. Use caution when downloading apps, as they may contain malware and avoid opening links and attachments – especially for senders you don’t know.
Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately
1. As we near the holiday season, online shopping increases and so do online scams. Only use trusted sites to make online transactions and be wary of steeply discounted items. Sometimes scammers will attempt to lure you into making a purchase with phony online sales. In addition, if you plan to buy or sell your own goods online, use a website or app that uses proper safety measures to ensure that you don’t lose your money in the process.
2. Over 500,000 people start seasonal jobs during the holiday season. Scammers like to take advantage of seasonal workers by posing as potential employers on third-party websites. When prospective employees apply for these job listings, they will be asked to provide personal information such as their date of birth, address and social security number for “verification purposes.” Scammers can then use this information to steal your identity. One big red flag to look out for is a job which offers a lot of money for very little work. If the position seems too good to be true, it is probably a scam. If you have questions about a job listing you see online, go directly to the business website or give them a call.
3. Many people travel during the holidays to visit with family and friends. Be cautious of false rental advertisements online. Do not use third party websites to book hotels and be particularly wary of home rentals. Verify listings through online consumer feedback before you close the deal. Some scammers will copy photos and details from real rental listings. They then accept pre-payment for booking the house or apartment. You may only discover that you have nowhere to stay on the day you’re supposed to check in. Never give someone money before you see the place you are supposed to stay, and always verify the listing with hotels directly before booking any rooms.
4. During the winter season, we see an increase in scammers calling consumers and pretending to be a representative from their local utility provider. The fraudster will claim that your previous payments haven’t cleared or that you owe them money. They will tell you that you need to pay the outstanding over the phone, or else your power, heat, or water will be turned off within the hour. The swindler will insist that you didn’t pay the bill (even if you know you did), and will tell you to pay over the phone with a credit card or a cash transfer. Scammers are banking on your fear that your heat will be shut off during the cold winter season in order to collect your personal information. Don’t fall for it! Hang up and call your utility provider directly to confirm your billing status.
1. Every November we celebrate Veterans Day and this year is especially meaningful as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. In a shameful twist, scammers see honoring veterans as a perfect time to call across the country pretending to represent charities benefiting our nation’s heroes. Scammers often use sound-alike names (or invent authentic “organizations”) to solicit funds. Before donating, verify each charity by checking their names and reputations at give.org or www.charitynavigator.org. This Veteran’s Day, we should be honoring our veterans, not lining the pockets of scammers who use their name so disrespectfully.
2. Medicare Open Enrollment runs through December 7th, and it’s a banner time for Medicare fraud. Beware of ads that promise medical equipment covered 100% by Medicare. You may see one in the newspaper offering a free power chair, or a TV infomercial claiming you can get anything to ease your pain with no money out of pocket. Medicare only covers durable medical equipment that is medically necessary with a doctor’s prescription. If you have any questions about what is or is not covered, call 1-800-MEDICARE. Your local Area Agency on Aging can also review available Medicare plans during Open Enrollment to see what will work best for you and help you sign up.
3. Even though we are still several weeks away from tax season, scammers are hard at work trying to scare you into paying back taxes and other IRS “penalties” all year round. If you receive a call saying something like “Urgent! We found that fraud was committed on your last tax filing which you are hiding from the Federal Government,” please hang up. Scammers are very good at making you feel you did something wrong, especially when they pretend to be from the IRS! Remember to STOP and VERIFY. Call the IRS yourself at 1-800-829-1040 and you will soon see that the call you received is a scam. To report an IRS impersonations scam, visit this IRS site.
4. With holiday season upon us, scammers have plenty of inroads to steal our money and event he gifts we send. Here are some way to protect yourself: When shopping online, use well-known sites and type in the web address yourself, instead of clicking on a link. Buy gift cards online from the retailer or from the cashier, to avoid compromised cards that may be sitting on gift card racks. Require a delivery signature for packages to avoid the possibility of holiday packages being stolen from the recipient’s doorstep. Visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more tips on enjoying a scam-free holiday season.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Report scams to local law enforcement. Visit the AARP Fraud Website for more information on fraud prevention.
The Federal Trade Commission and American Bankers Association have posted a helpful infographic on Fake Check Scams.