Protect Your Banking Information from Identity Theft
Under a new Texas law called the Closed Account Notification System (CANS), if your identity is stolen and your checking account information has been compromised, you can request that your bank close your account and report the information to a state-wide database that is used by check verification companies. This action could thwart attempts by check fraudsters to use your banking information and could save you tremendous time and effort.
To access the form which is required by your financial institution in order to enter the information on the database, click the link below.
Complete the form, report the identity theft to your local law enforcement agency and present the form and a law enforcement agency case number to your financial institution to have your account closed and reported.
Identity Theft – What Do I Do Now?
Notification to Your Bank
You have experienced identity theft. You are worried that your bank accounts have either been compromised or may be in the future.
• Immediately close your bank accounts and reopen them with new account numbers.
• Change passwords and PINs on all access devices for your bank.
• Ask your bank to flag the old and new accounts for any unusual activity and review the accounts for a period of time after the reported incident to be certain the accounts haven't been compromised.
New Passwords and PINs
Do not use available information for the new account access devices. You should avoid mother's maiden name, birth date, the last four digits of the SSN, telephone number or series of consecutive numbers. You should also avoid using the same information and numbers when you create new PINs.
File a report with your local police or in the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency where the incident took place. Ask for a copy of this report for your bank. The police report will be necessary for you to prove to others that you have been victimized.
If checks have been stolen or misused, tell your bank to stop payment on them. Many retailers use major check verification companies so contact your bank and ask that your account information be reported to the Texas Closed Account Notification System (CANS). By doing so, all of the major check verification entities will have access to the information and report the crime to any retailer who uses their services. The major check verification companies are:
CheckRite: (800) 766-2748
Chexsystems: (800) 428-9623
CrossCheck: (707) 586-0551
Equifax Check Systems: (800) 437-5120
International Check Services: (800) 526-5380
National Check Fraud Service: (843) 571-2143
Scan: (800) 262-7771
TeleCheck: (800) 710-9898
Contact the Credit Reporting Agencies
Contact the fraud departments at each of the three major credit reporting bureaus and request that a "Fraud Alert" be placed in your file. You may also request the credit bureaus to notify you before opening any new accounts or changing your existing accounts. The credit bureaus are obligated to send you a free report to review for problems. Examine the reports carefully and contact any listing that shows changes or inquiries that you didn't make.
Also, notify the credit bureau to request that inquiries that you didn't make be removed. In a few months, you should follow up with another review of their credit report.
Credit Bureaus Contacts
Equifax - www.equifax.com
To order your report, call (800) 685-1111 or write:
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud, call (800) 525-6285 and write:
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian - www.experian.com
To order your report, call (888) EXPERIAN or write
PO Box 949
Allen TX 75013-0949
To report fraud, call (888) EXPERIAN and write:
PO Box 949
Allen TX 75013- 0949
Trans Union - www.transunion.com
To order your report, call (800) 916-8800 or write:
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022.
To report fraud, call (800) 680-7289 and write:
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
Contacting Creditors Who Have Altered or Fraudulent Account Records
If you find altered or fraudulent accounts you should notify the business immediately. You should direct your calls to the security or fraud departments to resolve the situation.
The Customer Suspects Mail Theft
Contact the local post office and report the theft to the nearest postal inspector. The Postal Service Website is located at United States Postal Inspection Service
Criminal Records or Arrests by Law Enforcement
Sometimes the criminal who assumes the victim's identity is arrested. During that time period the felon may use the victims identify to flee. This could result in further problems for the customer and the need to retain legal counsel.
Last But Not Least
Contact the Federal Trade Commissions, Identity Theft Hotline toll-free at (877) 438-4338. The FTC will place your information into a consumer fraud database and share it with law enforcement. You may get more information on identity theft by contacting the FTC at: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
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Get valuable information and practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to guard against online fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.
Click the link for more information about phishing:http://onguardonline.gov/phishing.html