Identity Theft

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft results when someone gains access to your personal information, such as your name, social security number, your financial or medical information, etc., and fraudulently uses it for their own gain.  Your personal information can potentially be compromised through such tactics as phishing, vishing, malware or hacking.

How can you protect yourself?

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft is to become educated about the risks.  Simply understanding the risks and knowing what signs to look for will go a long way in helping to secure your information.  The Bank of Edison is interested in the security of every one of our customer’s personal and financial information, and we want you to be empowered with the tools necessary to help ensure your protection from those who would seek to steal your identity.

Phishing and Vishing, What are they and how do I protect me?

Phishing is an email scam designed to steal your personal information.  Phishing emails usually claim to be from a well known, reputable company, such as the Bank of Edison or other financial institutions, credit card companies, etc.  The email itself often claims that there is a problem with your account and in order to straighten out the problem, they ask you to provide some personal information, such as account #’s, PIN #’s, Social Security #’s, etc.  Any time you get an email like this, it should be deleted and reported to your Internet Service Provider as a fraudulent email.  DO NOT reply to these emails under any circumstances.  Please keep in mind that the Bank of Edison will never e-mail you to ask for your personal information. 

Vishing is similar to phishing, except that, instead of an email, you might receive an actual call from someone claiming to be from a reputable company, such as the Bank of Edison, or maybe one of the bank’s vendors, requesting that you verify personal or financial information.  Again, please keep in mind, the Bank of Edison will never call you to ask for your personal information.

You may also receive text messages requesting personal information.  Please do not ever respond to text messages that solicit personal information.  The Bank of Edison will never text you to ask for your personal information

With regard to ANY type of communication from anyone claiming to be from the Bank of Edison or any other company, always make sure you do your part to verify that the communication is legitimate.  Follow the steps below, for your personal and financial well-being:

Check it out for yourself.  Don’t click on any links in emails, and don’t respond to any solicitations over the phone.  If you get any type of communication, whether an email, a letter or a call, from anyone claiming to represent our bank or any other company, call us, or that company, before responding in any way.  Make sure you know who you’re dealing with, and don’t ever give out personal information.

How to safekeep your personal information:

  • Don’t give your personal information, including SSN, account information, PIN #, login information, to anyone.
  • Protect your computer by installing an up-to-date virus/malware protection program, and set it to scan on a regular basis.  Chances are, if you don’t have up-to-date anti-virus/anti-malware software installed, your PC is probably not safe.
  • Do not logon to Internet Banking from a PC that does not have up-to-date anti-virus/anti-malware software installed.  If you’re not sure, don’t use the computer to conduct banking transactions.
  • When selecting passwords for online accounts, make sure that you use complex, hard to figure out passwords.  Don’t ever use simple passwords, like abc123, or passwords that are easily associated with you, such as your date of birth or a spouse’s name.
  • Use caution in browsing the Internet.  Don’t download anything unless 1) you know it’s legitimate and 2) you’ve scanned it for viruses/malware.
  • Don’t use public computers for  accessing sensitive information, such as your bank account.  It is sometimes possible for others who use the computer after you, to view your sensitive information.
  • Shred any unwanted mail.
  • Pay attention to your bank statements.  If you ever find anything that looks suspicious, report it to the bank immediately.
  • Periodically check your credit report.

What do I do if I am a victim of Identity Theft?

  • If you have been a victim of Identity Theft, you should contact any one of the 3 credit bureaus immediately.  Ask them to put a fraud alert on your credit report.  It is only necessary to contact one of the 3 credit bureaus.  Once a fraud alert has been put on your report, that bureau must then contact the other 2 on your behalf.  The 3 major credit bureaus are:   

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
Experian: 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

A fraud alert makes it more difficult for a fraudster to open accounts in your name.  The alert stays on your credit report for at least 90 days.  If you go so far as to create an Identity Theft Report, you can ask for an extended alert on your file.

  • Contact The Bank of Edison, along with any other banks, credit card companies, health insurance providers or other related vendors, immediately.  We can help advise you as to whether it is necessary to close down your existing accounts and reopen with a new account number.
  • File a report with the local Police Department or Sheriff’s office.

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