Identity theft is the illegal and fraudulent use of an individual's personal identifying information. Identity thieves use information such as Social Security number, birth date, and mother's maiden name to open new bank and/or credit card accounts, obtain loans, and charge on existing credit card accounts.
There have been incremental decreases in the number of identity theft occurrences over the last several years. However identity theft is here to stay. Experts attribute the incremental decreases to the combined efforts of industry, consumer, and monitoring/protection systems that are catching fraud more quickly. Despite the improved numbers consumers need to remain vigilant. Recent studies have found several significant trends that consumers should be aware of including:
At First Sound Bank, we are committed to protecting our customers' personal information. To help educate our customers about identity theft, we have provided information on how identity theft happens, how to prevent it and what to do if you are a victim.
To reduce or minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft or fraud, there are some basic steps you can take.
Credit Reporting Agencies Fraud Divisions:
Other Identity Theft prevention and support resources:
Receive free, confidential help by contacting Call For Action at 1-866-ID-HOTLINE ( 1.866.434.6854 ) or www.callforaction.org