How You Can Protect Your Privacy
One of the fastest growing white-collar crimes is identity theft, which occurs when an identity thief gains access to and uses an individualís personal identifying information without his or her knowledge in order to commit fraud or theft. You can protect your privacy and minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft by taking the following steps:
Personal Identifying Information
- Always protect personal identifying information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords.
- Do not give any of your personal identifying information to any person who is not permitted to have access to your accounts.
- Do not give any of your personal identifying information over the telephone, through the mail or online unless you have initiated the contact or know and trust the person or company to whom it is given.
Credit, Debit and ATM Cards
- Limit the number of credit, debit and ATM cards that you carry.
- Cancel all cards that you do not use.
- Retain all receipts from card transactions.
- Sign new cards as soon as you receive them.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.
- Deposit outgoing mail in a post office collection box, hand it to a postal carrier, or take it to a post office instead of leaving it in your doorway or home mailbox, where it can be stolen.
- Order a copy of your credit report annually and review it for accuracy.
- Check your credit report for unauthorized bank accounts, credit cards and purchases.
- Look for anything suspicious in the section of your credit report that lists who has received a copy of your credit history.
Bank Account and Credit Card Statements
- Contact your financial institution immediately if a bank account or credit card statement does not arrive on time.
- Review your bank account and credit card statements promptly and immediately report any discrepancy or unauthorized transaction.
Telephone and Internet Solicitations
- Be suspicious of any offer made by telephone, on a Web site or in an eMail that seems too good to be true.
- Before responding to a telephone or Internet offer, determine if the person or business making the offer is legitimate.
- Do not respond to an unsolicited eMail that promises some benefit but requests personal identifying information.
- CommunityBank never requests a customerís bank card number, account number, Social Security number, Personal Identification Number (PIN) or password through eMail. If you should receive an eMail requesting such information that appears to be from CommunityBank, do not respond to the eMail and contact CommunityBank immediately at 1-866-55-COMMUNITY (1-866-552-6668).
- Store extra checks, credit cards, documents that list your Social Security number, and similar items in a safe place.
- Shred all credit card receipts and solicitations, ATM receipts, bank account and credit card statements, canceled checks, and other financial documents before you throw them away.
PINs and Passwords
- Memorize your PINs and passwords and keep them confidential.
- Change your passwords periodically.
- Avoid selecting PINs and passwords that will be easy for an identity thief to figure out.
- Do not carry PINs and passwords in your wallet or purse or keep them near your checkbook, credit cards, debit cards or ATM cards.
Wallets and Purses
- Do not carry more checks, credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards and other bank items in your wallet or purse than you really expect to need.
- Do not carry your Social Security number in your wallet or purse.
- Use common sense and be suspicious when things do not seem right.
- Be suspicious of any proposed transaction that requires you to send an advance payment or deposit by wire transfer.
Call us immediately at 1-866-55-COMMUNITY (1-866-552-6668) if you believe that you are a victim of identity theft involving one of your CommunityBank accounts.