Identity Theft Tips
Identity theft is a crime. Victims can spend countless hours, days and months unraveling legal and financial problems. Everyone is at risk to be a victim. Your chances decrease by being proactive.
Secure and guard your personal information.
- Do not keep your Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) with your checkbook or debit card.
- Shred all personal or financial information before throwing them away.
- Do not give out personal information over the phone, Internet or by mail unless you contacted the company.
- Be vigilante of when your bills arrive each month and review them promptly for unexplained activity.
- Take advantage of free e-Statements offered by our bank. Going paperless reduces the risk of ID theft.
- If possible, don't mail outgoing bill payments and checks from home. Use the post office or another secure location, or use Jersey State Bank Online Bill Pay.
Guard and secure your financial information.
Report lost or stolen checks, debit and credit cards immediately.
- For debit cards call 618-498-6466. (After banking hours call 800-383-8000).
- For credit cards call UMB at 800.821.5184
- Store new and cancelled checks safely.
- Cut up unused credit cards.
- Review account statements carefully. If you sign up for Jersey State Bank Online Banking, you can monitor your account frequently and at any time.
- Ask about any suspicious charges or transactions. Don't hesitate to contact Jersey State Bank or the appropriate credit card issuer if you see something questionable.
- Do not have driver's license number or Social Security number printed on your checks.
Monitor your credit report.
- Review your credit report on a regular basis for suspicious inquiries, unexplained accounts, incorrect balances and typos. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each major consumer reporting agency - Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax - under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. To order your free reports, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228.
- You can ask the credit reporting agencies for fraud alert protection so you can monitor all requests for new accounts opened in your name.
- If you are not using a credit card, don't carry it with you.
- Limit the credit offers you receive by contacting the National Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies at 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688.)
Talk with companies and government agencies.
- Ask banks, credit card companies, motor vehicle departments, utilities and insurance and phone providers to print as little information as possible on cards, invoices, etc.
- Ask companies and organizations about their privacy policies.
- Understand that by asking, you often have many avenues of information sharing blocked.
Be smart with your password.
- Choose passwords and PINs that are hard to guess by using alphanumeric and symbols.
- Avoid using your Social Security number, your mother's maiden name, birth dates, your kids' names or sports teams.
- Change passwords regularly
Don't use your Social Security number.
- You should not carry your Social Security card or number.
- Avoid printing it on checks.
- The only places you must use your Social Security number are government applications and financial forms, such as tax forms and credit applications.
- Be alert to phone and email scams.
- Do not give out personal information over the telephone unless you made contact.
- Be smart about email phishing scams. Emails can appear to be from a legitimate source, but really they are not. Make it a practice to never send personal information via email.
- Know that Jersey State Bank will never make an unsolicited phone request for your account information, password or other sensitive data. We will not request confidential information via email.
Commonly Used Scams
- Online auctions: Online auctions may offer an extremely low price on an item, request cash or money order payments, or instruct the buyer to send funds to an escrow company.
- Advance fee scams: The consumers are asked to pay a fee in advance to receiving a credit card, loan, or scholarship. In return, the scammer either disappears or forwards worthless junk.
- Bogus charity: It's easy for scammers to set up bogus charities using email. These days e-mail messages and Web site links look very legitimate.
- Prizes that may cost you: One of the most common scams is letters or e-mail messages telling consumers they've won something, even if you haven't entered a contest. Look out for requesting some other type of purchase, request cash, taxes, or handling fees, or require a lot of personal information before you can receive the prize.