Identity theft occurs when a person (thief) acquires and uses another person’s private identifying information that is mainly used for financial gain through fraud or theft.
Minimize the risk of becoming an identity theft victim by taking a proactive role in protecting your privacy!
- Social Security Number – Date of Birth – Bank Account Numbers – Credit Card Numbers – User IDs – Passwords – PINs (personal identification numbers)
- Do not provide sensitive information online, via mail or over the telephone unless you have initiated the contact or you know with certainty who you are providing the information to. E-mails and Internet pages created by phishers could look “official” and legitimate.
- Do not carry Social Security Numbers, Passwords, and PINs in your wallet or purse
Bank of Tennessee will never request a customer’s Social Security Number, dates of birth, Bank account numbers, Credit or Debit card numbers, PINs, Passwords, or other personal sensitive information via e-mail.
Bank Statements, Credit Card Statements, Checks, or even other sensitive information is delivered by mail right to your mailbox. This information could be very valuable for thieves. You could also put in the mail a check or papers containing sensitive information. A flag indicating there is mail to be picked up is an invitation to thieves.
- Quickly remove incoming mail from your mailbox, and place it in a safe place.
- When mailing sensitive information (statement- checks, etc.), please take it to the post office collection box or personally deliver the mail to the carrier.
- Do not leave mail containing sensitive information in you mailbox waiting to be picked up.
- Consider receiving electronic statements that are directly delivered to a safe e-mail address only you have access to.
- Contact your financial institution or Credit Card Company should your statements have not arrived on time.
Credit Cards & Debit Cards
- Do not provide your card number over the telephone unless you initiate the phone call.
- Save transaction receipts to check against monthly statements
- Check your statements (Bank Acct – Credit Card) regularly and compared them to your receipts for accuracy and/or irregularities.
- Carry only the cards you need
- Shred old or expired cards
- Shred old credit card and/or bank statements should you decide to discard them
- If your card has been lost or stolen, please report it immediately. Acting fast limit the liability for charges you did not authorize.
PINs and Passwords
PINs and passwords are part of our everyday life. We have too many PINs and passwords and let’s face it, they are hard to remember; this will cause many people to use the same passwords for several accounts. We need to remember that PINs and passwords could be our only line of defense against intrusion. Following a few simple steps could minimize the risk of intrusions.
- Do not write your PINs and passwords on paper. Memorize them instead
- Change default passwords immediately
- Change your passwords on a regular basis
- Mix and Match – Strong Passwords usually contain
- Upper case letters
- Lower case letters
- Special Characters (i.e. #$%^)
- Avoid selecting PINs and Passwords containing personal information (i.e. DOB, SSN, address) or that are easy to figure out.
- Most Common Passwords – 2012
- Review or download our Fraud Prevention Booklet