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ID Theft Prevention Tips

It is important to remember to keep your personal information safe at all times.

Identity theft happens when someone steals personal information from your wallet, mail box, by a phone call, over the Internet, or however a clever thief can get it. Your information is then used to establish bogus credit or commit other fraud – in your name.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect your identity...

  • Review your account statements promptly. Report any unauthorized activity to your financial institution immediately.
  • Shred old bank statements, receipts, and any documents with personal information.
  • Select random passwords and personal identification numbers that would be difficult for others to guess. Don’t share this information with anyone and don’t write it on your ATM card or keep it in your wallet or purse.
  • Unless you’ll be shopping for a new credit card, submit the "opt out" information included with any solicitation you receive. This will remove you from pre-screened lists for 5 years or even permanently if you choose. You can also opt out by calling 888-5OPT-OUT or visit www.OptOutPrescreen.com.
  • Don’t get "phished". Beware of e-mails warning you of an urgent problem with your account. Never click on a link provided in an e-mail to supply personal information. To access internet sites manually type the URL and set a bookmark for future visits.
  • Get a free credit report annually by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.

If you do fall prey to identity theft, contact your financial institution to close any accounts that might be affected and place a fraud alert on your credit report.