Identity theft is a serious crime. It occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity Theft can cost you time and money. It can destroy your credit and ruin you good name. Deter identity thieves by safeguarding your information:
- Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
- Protect your Social Security number (SSN). Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your SSN on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary.
- Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead type in a web address you know. Use firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date. Visit www.OnGuardOnline.gov for more information.
- Do not use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, or the last four digits of your SSN.
- Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside workers or are having work done in your house.
- Dumpster Diving: They rummage through trash looking for bills and other paper with your personal information on it.
- Skimming: They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing: They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Changing your address: They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a “change of address” form.
- Old–Fashioned Stealing: They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; preapproved credit offers; and new checks or tax information.
Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements. Be alert to signs that require immediate attention:
- Bills that do not arrive as expected
- Unexpected credit cards or account statements
- Denials of credit for no apparent reason
- Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
- Inspect your financial statements – Review financial accounts and billing statements regularly looking for charges you did not make.
- Inspect your credit report – Visit www.annualcreditreport.com, a service created by the three companies listed below, to order your free credit report each year.
Place a fraud alert: 1-888-766-0008
P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374
Place a fraud alert: 1-888-397-3742
475 Anton Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Place a fraud alert: 1-800-680-7289
P.O. Box 6790 Fullerton, CA 92834
Defend against ID theft as soon as you suspect it by:
- Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports, and review the reports carefully. The alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have toll free numbers listed in the Detect Fraud section. Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of you credit reports. Look for inquires from companies you have not contacted, accounts you did not open and debts on your account that you cannot explain.
- Close Accounts – Close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently
- Call the security or fraud department of each company where an account was opened or changed without your okay. Follow up in writing, with copies of supporting documents.
- Use the ID Theft Affidavit at www.ftc.gov/idtheft to support your written statements.
- Ask for verification that the disputed account has been closed and the fraudulent debts discharged.
- Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.
- File a police report – File a report with law enforcement officials to help you with creditors who may want proof of the crime.
- Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission – Your report helps law enforcement officials across the country in their investigation.
- Online: www.ftc.gov/idtheft
- By phone: 1.877.ID.THEFT (1.877.438.4338) or TTY 1.866.653.4261
- By mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, Washington DC 20580
In the event you have misplaced or suspect your Paducah Bank and Trust debit card may be stolen or misused, please contact us at 270.575.5700 immediately during business hours (Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm and Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm) so we can cancel your card and issue a new one. Outside of business hours you may call 800.575.5705; this is a 24 hour service line to cancel your card. To order a new card, please call the bank during the business hours listed above.
Paducah Bank will never call or e-mail you to ask for personal information (account number, social security number, debit card PIN, credit card number, etc.). If you receive an inquiry from someone claiming to be a Paducah Bank employee, simply ask for the callers name and immediately contact us at 270.575.5700. Never give your personal information over the telephone or by e-mail.
*All the information is provided by the Federal Trade Commission. To learn more about ID theft and how to deter, detect and defend against it, visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft or request copies of ID theft resources by writing to:
Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, H-130
Washington, DC 20580