What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal identification information, such as your Social Security Number, Credit Card Number, Bank Account Number, or other identification, without your permission, and uses it to open accounts or initiate transactions in your name.
Tips to Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft
- Report lost or stolen debit / credit cards immediately.
- Sign all new debit / credit cards immediately.
- Keep a list of your debit / credit cards, expiration dates, and customer service phone numbers in a secure place in case you need to report lost or stolen cards.
- Watch debit / credit card expiration dates. Contact the issuer if you don't receive a replacement card prior to the date.
- Do not carry your social security card or birth certificate and keep them in a safe place.
- Take debit / credit card receipts with you and don't leave them behind.
- Secure your computer by ensuring that you have anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a personal firewall installed on your computer.
- Destroy private records, documents, and statements that contain personal information when you are done with them.
- Never give out your mother's maiden name or bank account, credit card, and social security numbers over the telephone (unless dealing with a trusted business).
- Expect your monthly financial statements. Notify your financial institution if you do not receive them.
- Review your Bank and financial statements to verify all transactions were legitimate.
- Do not use your social security number, mother's maiden name, date of birth, or any part of your name when creating passwords or PINS.
- Do not reply to, or click on, a link in an e-mail that warns you (with little notice or prior legitimate expectation) that an account of yours will be shut down unless you confirm billing or other account information. Contact the company referenced in the e-mail by using a telephone number or other form of communication that you are sure is legitimate.
- Beware of mail, e-mail, or telephone calls informing you of prizes or awards, especially if they ask for personal or financial account information.
- Make photocopies of information in your wallet and / or purse, including both sides of your drivers' license and any debit / credit, ATM, or merchant cards you carry with you.
- Review your Consumer Credit Reports regularly. By law you can receive a free credit report each year. Look through the report carefully to see if there is any suspicious activity. If so, contact your debit / credit card company immediately.
E-mail and Website Fraud (Phishing)
Phishing is a method of e-mail fraud in which the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking e-mail in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients or to direct recipients to a fraudulent website. These e-mail's can look very convincing.
Common Features Among Phishing E-mails
- Urgent appeal – the message may threaten some consequence if you do not respond.
- Request for Information – there may be a request to update or validate certain personal information.
- Typos and errors – often the message is poorly written or has spelling errors within the message.
Tips to Prevent Being Phished
- Do not reply to an e-mail or pop-up message that asks you for personal financial information.
- Do not click on links in an e-mail or pop-up message that asks you for personal financial information.
- Do not cut and paste a link from an e-mail or pop-up message that asks you for personal information into your web browser; Links can look like they go one place, but they can actually send you to a different site.
- Some scam e-mails appear to be from a legitimate business and ask you to call a phone number to update your account or access a "refund." Call the number on your financial statement, company website, phone book, or on the back of your debit / credit card if you need to reach an organization you do business with.
- Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them all regularly.
- Do not e-mail personal or financial information.
- Review your bank account and credit card statements immediately for unauthorized charges.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from e-mails you receive regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computer's security.
Reporting Scams or Identity Theft
Washington Savings Bank customers should contact us immediately at 800-836-7173. We will secure your Washington Savings Bank accounts and help with an identity theft toolkit for other financial relationships.
To report fraud to the Credit Bureau, call:
- Equifax Credit Bureau: 800-685-1111 – www.equifax.com/home/en_us
- Experian Credit Bureau: 888-397-3742 – www.experian.com
- Trans Union Credit Bureau: 800-916-8800 – www.transunion.com
For more information on Identify Theft and other account fraud, visit the following websites:
- National Fraud Information Center
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Federal Trade Commission
- Anti-Phising Working Group
Washington Savings Bank Notice
WASHINGTON SAVINGS BANK will NEVER request any confidential information from a customer such as account number, social security number, PINs or passwords by email or phone call. Never give out confidential information unless you have originated a voice or in-person conversation and we are requesting this for identification reasons.
Never give your PIN or password to anyone, including WASHINGTON SAVINGS BANK Staff. Emails from legitimate sources such as a bank or the FDIC can be faked!
When entering our ebranch (website), only enter directly at www.washingtonsavings.net in your browser. Never allow another website (such as a search engine or other website or bookmark) to transfer you to our website. Websites can be faked if not entered directly!