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Protecting Your Personal Information, Your Identity

Identity theft usually happens without your knowledge. To protect yourself, learn what the signs are that your identity has been stolen and how you can help protect yourself from identity theft.

Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

The easiest way to protect yourself from identity theft is by protecting your personal information. We suggest that you always do the following:

  • Shred any documents with account and other identifying numbers
  • Check your personal credit report at least annually - quarterly recommended
  • Change your email passwords and other passwords regularly
  • Think twice before sharing personal information with store clerks and telemarketers
  • Get Identity Theft Reimbursement Insurance or use a credit monitoring service
  • Review your statement online with FNB Online Banking.

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Consumer Fraud Prevention Tips

Theft of your personal information can be devastating to your personal finances and takes a great deal of time to overcome; however, there are a number of effective ways you can protect your identity and personal information from would-be thieves. We’ve included some tips below:

Preventing Card Fraud

Credit and debit cards have changed the way we do business, both as individuals and as businesses.  Instead of carrying cash, these cards provide convenience and safety, as well as tracking of transactions on monthly statements. You don't, however, have to lose your credit or debit card to become a victim of card fraud.  Criminals can obtain your card account numbers from old receipts or by scanning your card using illegal machines. There are precautions you can take to avoid becoming a victim of card fraud including:

  • Always sign the back of your cards when they arrive in the mail. 
  • Get your statements online using FNB Online Banking.
  • Pick PIN numbers you can easily remember that are not birthday dates, house or phone numbers, or repetitions of a single number.  Never write your PIN number down on a slip of paper that you keep in your purse or wallet.
  • Check your card statements for unfamiliar transactions.
  • Get the receipts from your card transactions.  If there are carbons, ask for them too.
  • Retain any receipts you get from a card transaction and reconcile them with your monthly bank account statements. Shred them before throwing them in the trash.
  • Be sure to get your card back when you use it for purchases.  Be sure you can see your card at all times when it's being used for a transaction.
  • If you're shopping online, be sure the website you're visiting is secure (indicated by https://) before you enter your card number.
  • Write down all your card numbers and keep them in a safe, locked place with your statements.
  • Don't allow anyone else to use your credit card or debit card.
  • If you notice your credit or debit card is missing, call the card issuer immediately to report it lost or stolen. 
  • Never give your credit or debit card account number or PINs to anyone you don't know over the computer or the phone.
  • Know where your cards are at all times, and never leave your wallet or purse unattended - even for a minute.
  • Use your body to shield the keypad when entering your PIN at stores or ATMs.

Preventing Phone Fraud

Thieves take advantage of unsuspecting individuals who will give them important information, like Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, credit card numbers or bank account numbers over the phone. To avoid being a victim of phone solicitations, hang up if:

  • you don't know the person to whom you are talking.
  • an unknown caller asks you for your Social Security Number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers or date of birth.
  • you receive a call asking you to provide personal information to win a prize.
  • you are called and asked to verify information about your credit cards or bank accounts. If the caller claimed to be a bank representative, hang up and call Farmers National Bank directly. Remember that FNB will never call you and ask for your personal information over the phone.

Preventing Mail Fraud

Thieves often use the postal system to steal money and valuables from victims.  Mail fraud is typically committed through solicitation letters, fake sweepstakes, phony catalogs, or work-at-home offers.  Thieves can commit mail fraud by simply stealing mail - such as bank statements, credit card offers or checks - out of your mailbox. Here are some suggestions to avoid becoming a victim of mail fraud:

  • Don't leave bill payment envelopes in your mailbox for pickup -take them to a postal mailbox instead.
  • Know when your bank and credit card statements, Social Security checks or pension payments are supposed to arrive each month.  (It is even better to get your statements online.)
  • Know your billing cycles in order to watch for any missing mail.
  • Follow up if bills or new cards do not arrive on time.
  • Review all of your monthly accounts carefully for unauthorized charges.
  • Never respond to a sweepstakes or promotion letter by sending in a check to claim your prize.
  • Only send checks to charities which are nationally known or with which you are familiar.
  • If you are asked to send a "deposit" to "get started" with a work-at-home or other offer don't respond. 
  • If you order merchandise from a catalog and it doesn't arrive or isn't what you ordered, call the Better Business Bureau.
  • If merchandise you didn't order arrives COD (Cash On Delivery), send it back immediately.

Preventing Computer Fraud

Fraud committed using computers is growing rapidly in frequency and sophistication. Identity thieves and other criminals are using the extensive reach of the Internet to span across states, countries and continents to commit fraud and steal both individuals’ and businesses’ information. Below are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim on your computer:

Email Precautions:

  • If you receive emails from senders you don't know, delete them immediately without opening them.
  • Do not reply to or click on “unsubscribe” as this can tip off phishers that they have reached a valid email address.
  • If you get any type of unsolicited email or pop-up message that asks for any type of personal information, don't respond to it. Notify your Internet Service Provider (ISP) immediately.
  • Never send personal or sensitive business information via unsecured email.

Online Precautions:

  • Install and keep anti-virus/anti-spyware software on your computer updated.
  • Do business only with reputable online firms.
  • If you are conducting any type of business online, make sure you are doing so on a secure web connection. If you see the characters https:// in the web page address in your browser, you are visiting a secure website that uses encryption to protect your identity and your information. If you only see http://, don't enter any personal information because the page is not a protected website and could potentially be intercepted during transmission. (Internet Explorer displays a padlock at the end of the address bar when a site is secure.)
  • Know who you are dealing with online. Don't complete forms that ask for personal information if you don't know exactly where they are going and what they will be used for. Review the Web site privacy policies of sites with which you deal.
  • If you use FNB Online Banking, make sure you stay at your computer for the entire transaction, and then be sure you sign off completely when you are done.
  • Ask to have your account and credit card statements sent to you online directly from your bank or credit card company.

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Act Quickly If You Think You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

If you are a victim of identity theft, it's important that you take action as soon as you notice something is wrong or missing.

If you think you are a victim of identity theft, follow these two important steps:

  • Call your Farmers National Bank customer service representative at 270-692-3177 to report the situation.
  • File an Identity Theft Affidavit. Complete and send copies of this form to your bank, credit card companies, mortgage holder, other organizations with which you have financial relationships, and all credit bureaus. Filing this form will make it easier to dispute unlawful charges to your accounts.

Reporting Fraud

The sooner you report fraud or identity theft, the faster Farmers National Bank, other financial institutions and the authorities can take steps to assist you.  If you become a victim of fraud, do the following:

  • Call FNB and let us know your identity has been compromised or stolen.
  • Call any other financial institution(s) you deal with and make them aware of the situation.
  • Call your credit card companies and ask that access to your accounts be restricted.  Open new accounts if necessary.
  • Check through your personal documents to determine what items are missing.
  • If checks are missing from your checkbook, issue stop payments on each check.
  • If your driver's license is stolen, call your local Department of Motor Vehicles office.
  • If your Social Security Card is stolen, call the Social Security Administration.
  • Ask to have your account numbers, PINs, and passwords changed immediately.
  • Ask your bank, brokerage firms and credit card companies to review transactions on all of your accounts.
  • File a report with the police and get a copy of it for your records.
  • Document what happened, when, and to whom you spoke.

Reporting Identity Theft

If you become a victim of identity theft, it's critical that you file a report immediately.

Your first call should be to your Farmers National Bank customer service representative to report the situation.  
In addition, file an Identity Theft Affidavit right away.

Click here to download an Identity Theft Affidavit.

Once you've completed this important form, send it to your bank, credit card companies, mortgage holder, other organizations with which you have financial relationships and all credit bureaus. If a thief has run up your credit cards, drained existing accounts or opened accounts in your name, filing this form will make it easier to dispute charges.

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Additional Resources

IDTheft.gov

IDTheft.gov is your one stop resource for government information about identity theft.

DETER DETECT DEFEND: Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Site

This website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect, and defend against identity theft.  

On this site, consumers can learn how to avoid identity theft – and learn what to do if their identity is stolen.  Businesses can learn how to help their customers deal with identity theft, as well as how to prevent problems in the first place.  Law enforcement can get resources and learn how to help victims of identity theft.

Identity Theft Assistance Center

The Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC) is a cooperative initiative founded by the financial services industry to provide a free victim assistance service for customers of member companies. ITAC is run by the Identity Theft Assistance Corporation, a not-for-profit membership corporation sponsored by The Financial Services Roundtable and BITS. In 2005, membership in ITAC was opened to companies in other industries targeted by identity thieves including retailers and telecommunications companies.

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