Did you know each year around 1 in 15 people will fall victim to Identity Theft? In 2019 alone, over 650,000 people had their identities stolen and that’s just in the US.
Identity Theft is when someone steals another person’s personal identifying information such as their name, social security number, credit card number, or their financial information. Often times an identity thief will use this information to apply for credit, file taxes, get medical services, or drain your accounts.
There are many ways that an identity thief will try and steal your information. Some will call and try to intimidate you with a “final warning” or a “late payment” and that they need your personal and credit card information to clear you. Others will send an “URGENT” email with a fraudulent attachment or link asking for the same information or to hack your computer. As clever as they think they are, there are several ways to protect yourself and your finances:
• Unknown callers – If you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, don’t answer it. If it’s important they will leave a message which will help you determine if it is legitimate.
• Suspicious emails – When going through your emails, should you come across a suspicious looking email, think before you click: Is this someone or a business you know? Are you expecting documentation that requires you to provide your information? If you hover your mouse over the link, does it look legitimate? If you answer no to any of these, simply delete the email.
• Your Passwords – When creating a password, use a combination of mixed case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using full words, names, birthdates, or the most common “Password” as your password. Try to avoid saving or writing your password down and DO NOT give it out.
• Check your accounts regularly – Checking your accounts on a daily or weekly basis is a great habit to get into. This will allow you to quickly spot any unknown or suspicious activity.
• Sign up for eStatements – If you do not get your mail right away or dispose your paper statements properly, this is yet another way for identity thieves to gain access to your information. By switching to eStatements, you can enjoy less clutter, secured access, and the ability to view any of your monthly statements at any time.
• Mobile Card Control – If you notice any suspicious debit card activity on your account or that your debit card is missing, you can temporarily block your debit card or report it missing through our consumer mobile app. Learn more.
• Positive Pay – This service is designed to empower business account holders with the ability to prevent financial loss to check fraud and unauthorized ACH transactions. Learn more.
• ID TheftSmart – ID TheftSmart™ provides continuous credit monitoring to alert you to any potential problems or suspicious activity, as well as exclusive access to your own experienced, licensed investigator in the event your identity has been compromised. Learn more.
Our experts would love the opportunity to help you have a #STRONG21. Connect with them today to find out what options would be best for you or your business.
If you suspect your identity has been compromised or stolen, click here for guidance.