What to Do To Protect Yourself from Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft
- Make your user ID’s and passwords as secure as possible. We recommend that you use a combination of numbers, letters (upper case and lower case) and special characters.
- Change your passwords every 30 to 60 days.
- Don’t send sensitive information via email. Never email your password, account number, social security number or other sensitive information to anyone.
- Never leave your computer unattended — Complete your banking tasks and end your web sessions by always signing off.
- Be careful how much personal information you post online — When visiting social networks, remember that sharing information like your birth date, phone number, e-mail address, location and photos can put your identity at risk.
- Never write down PINs and passwords — Memorize them instead.
- Use a firewall as it protects your personal computer from unauthorized access.
- Beware of malware infection with drive-by downloads. Drive-by downloads may happen when visiting a malicious or vulnerable website, viewing an e-mail message or by clicking on a deceptive pop-up window. Malware is malicious software installed on your computer which has a harmful intent that can, for example, capture your login passwords and other personal data. Examples of malware include software such as spyware, adware, viruses, etc. The best way to protect yourself from malware is to exercise caution before installing programs on your computer or opening email attachments.
- Install anti-virus, anti-spyware and malware detection software — the best defense against computer attacks is preventative software.
- Use a pop-up blocker. Set your browser preferences to block pop–ups. Pop-ups can contain inappropriate content or have malicious intentions.
- Only use wireless networks you trust — Networks in Internet cafés, hotels, and libraries are usually not secure and are easy to tamper with.
- Sign on and review your account information at least once a week. If you notice any changes related to your accounts with us that you didn't make, contact us immediately at (631)348-4444.
- Review your bank and credit card transactions regularly to make sure these only reflect transactions you have made. If you spot a problem related to your account with us, call us immediately at (631)348-4444.
- Check your credit report regularly. Make sure all the accounts listed are ones you've created, so you can minimize the damage to your credit score. For a copy of your credit report, contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies referenced in the "What to Do If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft” section below.
What to Do If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft
If you become a victim of identity theft, we recommend that you:
- Close any affected accounts and open new accounts. Put a stop payment on all fraudulent checks.
- Request a "fraud alert” for your file with each of the credit bureaus and submit a victim’s statement asking creditors to call you before opening new accounts or changing your existing ones. You can contact the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies at:
|Equifax Consumer Fraud Division
||Fraud Victim Assistance Division
- File a police report with local law enforcement.
- Complete an identity theft affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf.
- Report suspected identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-438-4338, writing at Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20580; or online at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
- Order your free annual reports from the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies through www.annualcreditreport.com and review them carefully.
- If you seem to be missing any mail, contact your local post office – ID thieves sometimes steal mail to access account numbers, and will then change the account’s billing address so they can run up the charges without your knowledge. They can also change car titles and PIN numbers, order new cards and checks.
How to Report Fraud
- To report suspected fraud concerning your Empire National Bank accounts, please call us immediately at (631)348-4444.
- If you receive suspicious emails that claim to be from Empire National Bank, attach them to a new email and send them to email@example.com. Then, be sure to delete the suspicious emails from your inbox.
When We Will Contact You about Fraud
- Empire National Bank has systems in place to detect unusual patterns of activity, which could indicate fraud on your accounts. We may contact you to verify your activity. We will always verify your identity at the onset of the call.
- At no time will Empire National Bank ask you for your user ID, password or other personal information via e-mail or telephone. We will never ask you to update or confirm personal information in response to any urgent or threatening condition concerning your account. Do not give out any information in these situations. If you receive a suspicious phone call or email requesting information, claiming to be from Empire National Bank, you should decline to provide any information requested and call us immediately at (631)348-4444.
Debit Card and Credit Card Fraud
Common Types of Debit and Credit Card Fraud
- Card duplication, which allows for most types of unauthorized purchases.
- Unauthorized purchases over the internet, phone or email resulting from a lost or stolen credit card.
- Identity theft which can often result in new credit card accounts opened fraudulently.
How to Protect Yourself from Becoming a Victim of Debit Card and Credit Card Fraud
- Do not let your debit or credit card out of your sight during a point-of-sale transaction.
- Always take your debit or credit card with you at the end of any transaction.
- Review your statements every month. Check for any suspicious transactions and report them immediately.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- Never give out your debit or credit card number or personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call and verified who you are dealing with.
Cellular Phone Text Messaging Fraud
SMiShing messages appear to be from a legitimate company and typically contain a link that takes you to a spoof website or asks you to call a phone number. Even if you do not enter any information, selecting the link can lead to other problems, such as installing key logging software or dangerous viruses on your phone.
How to Spot SMiShing
- Requests to renew your bank service: This message may state that your banking web service has expired, and to renew it you need to select an enclosed link and visit your bank’s website where you can update your account information.
- Impending charge notices: The text usually states something to the effect that you will be charged a certain amount per day if you don’t call to cancel.
- Avoid selecting links in unsolicited text messages. Instead, go directly to the company's website and fill out information there.
- Do not respond to unknown numbers. If you miss a call on your mobile device or receive a text message from an unknown number, it's safer to ignore the call or delete the message. If you're suspicious about a banking phone number received via text message, you can always call the toll-free number on the back of your credit or debit card instead.
- Set up blocking features. Check with your wireless phone company to see if they offer the option to block certain types of text messages.
- Get on the Do Not Call List. Register your wireless number with the national Do Not Call List. Either sign up online at www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
- Install software with discretion. Only install software from reputable companies or from providers you trust.
- If you suspect that you’ve received a fraudulent text message, please forward it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. After forwarding the text message, you should delete it from your device.
- You may also want to forward it to the Federal Trade Commission at: email@example.com or contact them at: www.consumer.gov/idtheft , 1-877-IDTHEFT.