Preventing Identity Theft
As part of our efforts to protect your account information, we ask all Online Banking customers to create security questions. It's a smart and simple way to add an additional level of protection to your Online Banking. We may periodically ask you to answer those questions when you access Online Banking as a quick identity check, that way, when you are doing your Online Banking we'll know that it is you.
Anyone can be a target of identity theft. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk and we can help.
Most important is to manage your financial and personal information wisely, and to be aware of actions that lead to identity theft. In addition to obvious protections, like reviewing financial statements regularly and zealously protecting passwords and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), there are other simple steps you can take to reduce your risk:
- When shopping, avoid placing receipts in the same bag as your purchases.
- Before you reveal any personally identifying information to an outside institution, find out how it will be used and whether it will be shared with others. Ask if you can choose to have the information kept confidential.
- Know when you should receive your billing statements. Follow up with creditors if your bill doesn't arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean that a credit card thief has taken over your credit card account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
- Guard your mail from theft. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at the post office. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after it has been delivered. It is important to invest in a shredder and destroy all financial solicitations such as credit card or home equity loan offerings.
- Passwords aren't just for financial accounts. Whenever possible, put passwords on all your accounts, including telephone and utilities. When selecting a password, avoid easily available information such as your mother's maiden name.
- Minimize the identification information and the number of cards you carry to what you actually need.
- Don't carry your Social Security card with you; leave it in a secure place.
- Give your Social Security Number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible.
- Consider removing your Social Security Number from your motor vehicle driver's license, if local state law allows this.
- Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know the individual or entity that you are dealing with.
- Be cautious about where you leave personal information in your home; especially if you have outside help or are having service work done in your home.
- Tear or shred your receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, bank checks and statements that you are discarding, expired charge cards and credit offers you get in the mail.
- Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies each year. Make sure it is accurate and includes only those activities you've authorized.
Important Information For Victims of Identity Theft
If you know or suspect that your personal information has been stolen and misappropriated to commit fraud or theft, contact Bank of Denver at 303-572-3600 immediately. We will be able to help ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to recoup your identity.
Next, follow these steps to begin resolving the situation. Be vigilant and follow-up with written communication. Along the way, Bank of Denver can be a valuable resource.
- Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus and request that a "fraud alert" be placed in your file, as well as a "victim's statement" asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts.
Credit Bureau Fraud Departments
Trans Union 1-800-680-7289
At that time, you will receive copies of your credit reports from the credit bureaus. Review your reports carefully to ensure no additional fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name or unauthorized changes were made to your existing account.
- Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline 1-817-IDTHEFT (1-817-438-4338).
- Contact the creditors of any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Creditors can include credit card and utilities companies, banks and lenders.
- File a report with your local police. Get a copy of your police report in case the bank, credit card company or others need proof of the crime.
- Keep track of everyone you speak to and document their phone numbers. Follow-up all of your conversations with letters and keep copies of all documentation and correspondence.
Take Control of Your Individual Situation
Although there is no question that an identity thief can wreak havoc on your personal finances, there are some things you can do to take control of the situation.
- Stolen mail
If an identity thief has stolen your mail in order to get new credit cards, bank statements or tax information report it to your postal inspector. You can receive information regarding your postal inspector by calling your local post office or by visiting the U.S. Postal Service website (www.usps.com).
- Change of address on credit card accounts and loans
If you have discovered that an identity thief has changed the billing address on an existing credit card account, close the account immediately and open a new one.
- Bank accounts
If an identity thief has tampered with your bank accounts, checks, or ATM cards - close the accounts and open new ones.
If an identity thief has tampered with your brokerage accounts or individual securities, immediately report it to your financial advisor and contact the Securities and Exchange Commission at 202-942-7040.
If someone is using your Social Security Number to apply for a job, report it to the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or visit the SSA website (http://www.ssa.gov).
Also call the SSA at 1-800-712-1213 to verify the accuracy of earnings reported on your Social Security Number, and request a copy of your Social Security statement.
- Learn More
Do you know how you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft? To learn, take the Identity Theft: A Quiz for Consumers (http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idquiz.html) on the U.S. Department of Justice website (http://www.usdoj.gov). Assess what you may already know and then read more about some easy tips everyone can follow.
While no one can totally prevent this crime from occurring to you, there are some positive steps to take which will decrease your risk. To learn more; contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877- IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) or the FTC Website (http://www.ftc.gov/IDtheft).