The best ways to keep your personal information safe is to be vigilant in your activity, to actively pay attention to where you store your important paperwork, and to check your account activity regularly. Take these steps to help protect your account information:
1. Carry only the information you need. Leave your social security card and extra credit/debit cards in a safe place.
2. Get in the habit of checking regularly to make sure you have all your cards in your wallet.
3. Never give out your checking/savings account or social security number or other personal information to solicitors or callers you haven’t contacted.
4. Never share your debit card PIN (Personal Identification Number).
5. Shred personal documents and financial statements before your throw them away.
6. Check your accounts often with free Internet banking, and contact us if you notice any suspicious activity.
7. Help prevent mail fraud by signing up to receive free e-statements and pay your bills online with Bill Pay.
8. Check your credit report regularly. You are entitled to one free credit report each year. You can also get a copy directly from the credit bureaus for a small fee:
- Equifax: (800) 525-6285 or visit Equifax.com
- Experian: (888) 397-3742 or visit Experian.com
- TransUnion: (800) 680-7289 or visit TransUnion.com
Shop Safely Online
Online shopping has taken off over the past few years, and so have fraudulent sites and online thievery. Here are some ways that you can safely shop online:
1. Provide personal information only on Websites that are secure, and only when you have initiated the contact (note: secure sites will display “https” in the web site address).
2. Before you provide personal information, always look for the “closed lock” icon in your browser window.
3. Always log off after completing an online transaction, or close the browser window.
4. Don’t send your debit card information via email, especially in response to an emailed request. Small Town Bank will never email you to request sensitive personal information.
5. Learn more about Online Fraud by visiting the FBI website.
Report Fraud Immediately
It can be terrifying if you learn someone has used your information illegally. Here are the steps you should take if you notice fraud on your account:
1. Report lost or stolen cards immediately by calling 1-(800)-264-5578
2. Monitor your statements closely, and immediately report any transaction(s) you do not recognize.
3. Note your debit card expiration date. If you don’t receive a replacement before the expiration date, contact Small Town Bank at (866) 879-7654
4. Watch this informational video from FDIC on guarding against Internet thieves and electronic scams.