Tips to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
- Do not give out personal info over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact.
- Shred receipts, expired credit and debit cards, account statements, checks, and other sensitive personal information.
For more information on identity theft prevention solutions visit www.ftc.gov.
Elder Financial Exploitation
- Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
- Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by those who should be in a position of trust.
Lottery or Sweepstakes Scams
These type of scams involve unsolicited letters/emails sent to individuals offering the recipient something of value for their assistance in transferring a large amount of cash. These "old-fashioned fraud schemes" have existed for a long time. Examples are bogus business opportunities, chain letters, "free goods", work-at-home schemes, diet scams, mystery shopper scams, etc. For more information, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a list of the most common schemes at www.ftc.gov.
ATM Usage & Debit Card Safety Tips
- Be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. If you observe or sense suspicious persons or circumstances, do not use the machine at that time.
- Visually inspect the ATM for possible skimming devices. Potential indicators can include sticky residue or evidence of an adhesive used by criminals to affix the device, scratches, damaged or crooked pieces, moveable or extra attachments on the card slot, or noticeable resistance when pressing the keypad.
- Be careful that no one can see you enter your PIN at the ATM. Use your other hand or body to shield the ATM keyboard as you enter your PIN into the ATM.
- To keep your account information confidential, always take your receipts or transaction records with you.
- Do not count or visually display any money you received from the ATM. Immediately put your money into your pocket or purse and count it later.
- If you are using a drive-up ATM, be sure passenger windows are rolled up and all doors are locked. If you leave your car and walk to the ATM, lock your car.
- Always protect your ATM card and keep it in a safe place, just like you would cash, credit cards or checks.
- Do not leave your ATM card lying around the house or on your desk at work. No one should have access to the card but you. Immediately notify the bank if it is lost or stolen.
- Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) a secret. Never write it down anywhere, especially on your ATM card.
- Never give any information about your ATM card or PIN over the telephone. For example, if you receive a call, supposedly from your bank or possibly the police, wanting to verify your PIN, do not give that information. Notify the bank immediately.