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.