The simple act of sending and receiving mail, and putting your trash out at night, can put your personal information at risk. Financial information, checks, account and credit card statements, and monthly bills can be stolen from your home, mailbox or even from your trash, and used to access your accounts and steal your identity.
Follow these steps to protect against identity theft in your home
- Invest in a personal shredder. This is your first line of defense. Shred checking and credit card statements, cancelled checks, pre-approved credit card offers, or anything with your personal information on it before disposal.
- Place your garbage out on the morning of pickup rather than the night before. This gives dumpster divers less opportunity to go through your trash.
- Install a mailbox with a locking mechanism, or pick up your mail immediately after it is delivered each day.
- Change that old habit of placing mail in your mailbox for the carrier to pick up. Always place out-going mail in an official, secure mailbox.
- It's good practice to store your mail, account statements, and other papers where they are out of sight and out of reach of anyone who might be in your home.
By following these steps you are on the right track to protecting your identity. Learning about all the identity theft danger zones and the simple steps you can take to avoid being a victim, is the best way to protect your good name.
Protect yourself from fraudulent transactions
Consumers are protected in a number of ways against unauthorized electronic transactions, but it's very important to do your part. These protections do not apply to business accounts:
- Report lost or stolen debit/ATM cards within two business days. If you lose your debit/ATM card (or other access device) report it immediately. By contacting your financial institution within two business days of discovering the loss, you limit your liability to $50. Waiting more than two business days to report the loss increases your liability up to $500.
- Review your statement every month. If you find an unauthorized electronic transaction, you have 60 days to report it to your financial institution in order to limit the amount for which you are liable. If you wait more than 60 days you become liable for the unauthorized transactions. So review your statements every month and report any suspicious activity immediately.
The security of your money and identity is as important to us as it is to you. Let's work together to protect it.
To report suspicious activity, contact our Member Service Center immediately at (866) 585-7628.