Identity Theft - Protect Your Good Name
Community Financial, will never ask you for personal information
ID Theft - What You Should Know
According to the Federal Trade Commission's Web site, identity theft is defined as "The act of stealing your good name to commit fraud."
No one is immune but you can take action to avoid becoming a victim. Following are a few suggestions on how to protect your name and good credit.
- Carefully guard your personal information and be selective about with whom you share it. Personal information includes such things as your name, address, phone number, driver's license number, social security number, credit card numbers, birth date, and mother's maiden name.
- Carry as few credit cards and forms of ID as possible. There's no reason to carry your social security card in your wallet.
- Keep a list or photocopies of all information you carry in your wallet or purse. Store this information in a secure location.
- Shred documents that contain your personal information and account numbers before you throw them away. This includes unsolicited credit card applications.
- Don't print your driver's license or social security number on your checks.
- Examine your credit report at least once a year. (See below.)
If you find yourself a victim of identity theft, immediately take the following actions:
- File a police report.
- Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit-reporting agencies listed below. Request that they place a "fraud alert" on your file and that no new credit be granted without your approval.
- Contact Community Financial’s Service Call Center at (734) 453-1200 or 1-877-455-2328 to close your defrauded accounts and open new accounts.
For more information about identity theft visit:
- Call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT.
- Visit Identity Theft Resource Center : http://www.idtheftcenter.org
Free Credit Reports Access
Consumers in can request a free copy of their credit report from the three top reporting agencies. For your report, you can:
- Visit the Web site at http://www.annualcreditreport.com
- Dial (877) 322-8228; or
- Mail a standardized form to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, Ga. 30348-5281.
Community Financial wants to help you stay on top of your credit and avoid unhappy surprises. We recommend you request and check your credit report once a year. Visit these links to the sites of the three major credit reporting agencies.
Equifax : 1-800-685-1111
Trans Union: 1-800-888-4213
The Anti-Phishing recommendations:
- Do not reply to the unsolicited e-mail or respond by clicking on a link within the unsolicited e-mail message.
- Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail through a secure Web site or a phone number they know to be legitimate.
- Enter personal data only on Web sites known to be legitimate and secure—look for a “locked padlock” in the browser or “https” at the beginning of the Web site address for proof of security.
- Update anti-virus software and security patches to system software regularly.
- Check statements regularly, verify all transactions and notify financial institutions immediately of suspicious transactions.
- Forward suspicious e-mails to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov or by calling 877-ID-THEFT.