What is Identity Theft
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 ruin your good name. Skilled identity thieves use a variety of methods to steal your personal information, including:
- Dumpster Diving – Rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
- Skimming – Steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing – Pretend to be a financial institution or company and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Pharming – Direct Internet users to a bogus website that mimics the appearance of a legitimate one, in order to obtain personal information such as passwords, account numbers, etc.
- Vishing – Use social engineering over the telephone system, most often using features facilitated by Voice over IP (VoIP), to gain access to private personal and financial information from the public for the purpose of financial reward
- Changing Your Address - Divert your billing statements to another location by completing a “change of address” form.
- “Old-Fashioned” Stealing. Steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information.
How Can Greater Hudson Bank Help
Generations Gold, Greater Hudson Bank’s exclusive membership program, offers an Identity Theft Protection Program featuring Restoration Rescue™, designed to help you and your family avoid the fastest growing crime in the country – Identity Theft. Visit www.gengold.com for additional information on Restoration Rescue™ or contact your local branch for additional information on opening an account with the Generations Gold program.
How to Protect Your Identity
The simple fact is you can protect yourself against most forms of identity theft. The first step is education. To make it easier to understand, we’ve divided identity theft into the five “Danger Zones.” Take a few moments to learn about each of the Danger Zones and the steps you can take to avoid being a victim. Watch the video
Follow these tips and suggestions for protecting your identity, accounts, and online activities.
Identity Theft Resources
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the following identify theft resources available
What to do if you believe your identity was stolen
If you believe your identity was stolen, follow these steps:
- Contact Greater Hudson Bank Immediately.
- 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 for placing an initial 90-day fraud alert; a call to one company is sufficient:
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports. Look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.
- Close accounts. Close all accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.
- Call the security or fraud departments 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 ftc.gov/idtheft to support your written statement.
- 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 investigations.
- Online: ftc.gov/idtheft
- By phone: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338) or TTY, 1-866-653-4261
- By mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580