Fraud is scary, and according to a recent report by third-party research firm, Javelin Strategy & Research, 15.4 million people were victims in 2016. Your security is our top priority, and while we try to prevent our customers from fraud by monitoring account activity, here are some additional steps you can take to ensure it doesn’t happen to you:

1. Check your accounts regularly for unusual activity. If you sign up for FirstBank Security Alerts, we will send you a notification when your personal information is changed or when suspicious activity is detected. You can also personalize these alerts for specific activity, such as deposits or withdrawals over a certain amount. We recommend that you enroll for security alerts with all your financial institutions.

2. Change your passwords often. In addition to changing your passwords regularly, use different usernames and password combinations for each online account. Passwords are the first line of defense to prevent unauthorized access to your account. The strength of your password is based on its complexity, length, and uniqueness. Additional authentication methods such as image verification, security questions, or access confirmation on a separate device should be completed for all accounts.

3. Beware of phishing scams. If you are contacted by someone – completely unsolicited – seeking personal information, chances are this is a phishing scam. Fraudsters may pose as company representatives, use authentic-looking websites or use emails with malicious links in an attempt to gather your personal information. Do not provide any sensitive information and avoid clicking on links from unfamiliar or suspicious emails.

4. Report anything unusual. If you suspect fraudulent activity on any of your accounts, contact us at 1-800-964-3444. You should also contact any of your other banks or credit card companies as soon as possible.

Victim of Identity Theft? Consider The Following Steps:

Obtain and review a copy of your credit report. You can submit a single request for all three credit reporting agencies at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Consider placing a credit bureau fraud alert or security freeze on your credit. A fraud alert is a notice placed on your credit report, warning prospective lenders that you are a victim of identity theft. If an alert is active, creditors should take extra steps to verify your identity before granting credit to the person claiming to be you. A security freeze, on the other hand, is a good option if you don’t anticipate needing a new credit card, loan or line of credit in the near future. But it does have a fee associated and will require extra steps if you need access to credit.

To place a security freeze or issue an alert, you will need to contact each credit bureau independently:

Equifax: (800) 685-1111 or click here.

Experian: (888) 397-3742 or click here.

TransUnion: (888) 909-8872 or click here.

Explore a private credit monitoring or identity protection service. There are several independent companies that offer free credit monitoring services. It’s important to note that these free services may not monitor all three credit reporting bureaus. There are, however, paid monitoring services available that monitor activity of all three bureaus, and charge anywhere between $15-$30 a month. Do your research and find out what works best for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.