How can you minimize the chance of becoming a victim of Identity Theft?
- Don’t carry your Social Security card or any document(s) with your SSN on it.
- Don’t give a business your SSN just because they ask. Give it only when required.
- Protect your financial information.
- Check your credit report every 12 months.
- Secure personal information in your home.
- Protect your personal computers by using firewalls, anti-spam/virus software, update security patches, and change passwords for Internet accounts.
Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.
Do not open an attachment in your e-mail if you do not know the person who sent it or if you are not familiar or comfortable with the extension for the attachment. Viruses may be embedded in the attachment, such as an attachment with the extension .exe, .pif, .com, .zip, etc. An infected file will often execute as soon as it is opened.
Warning signs that your computer may have been compromised
- Dramatic loss of computer speed;
- Changes in the way things appear on the screen;
- Computer locks up so the user is unable to perform any functions;
- Unexpected rebooting or restarting of the computer
- Unexpected request for a one time password (or token) in the middle of an online session;
- Unusual pop-up messages, especially a message in the middle of a session that says the connection to the bank system is not working (system unavailable, down for maintenance, etc.);
- New or unexpected toolbars and/or icons; and
- Inability to log into online bank (thieves could be blocking customer access so the customer won’t see the theft until the criminals have control of the money);
- Inability or shut down or restart the computer.
Security precautions when using an ATM machine
Be aware of your surroundings. Be extra careful of machines in dark areas or in places that aren’t in areas that are well monitored.
Skimming Devices – Pay attention to the front of machines
- If it looks different from others in the area (i.e., it has an extra mirror on the face, has sticky residue on it potentially from a device attached to it, or extra signage) use a different machine and notify bank management with your concerns.
- Look over the entire ATM for parts that don’t match in styling, color or material.
- Look around the ATM vestibule for places where a scammer could hide a tiny camera.
Notice how it feels to type in your PIN code.
- If it’s difficult to punch the keys or you feel resistance, it could mean that a keypad overlay is present.
- Take a close look at the keypad to see if there is a fake overlay on top of it. The keypad may look thicker than usual.
Cover your hand as you type in your PIN.
- If a camera is present or someone is trying to look over your shoulder, this will obstruct their view.
If you think the area around the card entry slot looks peculiar, pull on it or jiggle it.
- If it comes off or loosens, alert bank management but try to leave the machine as you found it.
- Leaving the evidence in place could help authorities track down the criminals.
If you find a skimming device, in addition to notifying bank management, notify local law enforcement.