Tips to Avoid Identity Theft and Fraud

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posted April 3, 2020 in Articles

Unfortunately, scam artists tend to see heightened and emotional situations such as our current world health crisis as an opportunity to contact people in hopes of scamming you of your hard earned money. As a reminder, if GICU contacts you, we will not ask for confidential information such as your name, password, personal identification number (PIN) or other account information.

Keep an eye on your online accounts

If you see something suspicious, report it immediately. Contact your bank if you discover a fraudulent charge on one of your financial accounts. In most cases, the charge can be reversed and your account can be frozen.

Extra Tips

Before you provide personal information, such as to your bank, doctor's office, other businesses and/or your employer, ask how they will use it.

  • Never carry your Social Security card or number, birth certificate or passport unless necessary.
  • Report lost or stolen checks immediately and review newly delivered checks to make sure none have been stolen in transit.
  • Do not have your Social Security number or driver’s license number printed on your checks.
  • Never give identifying information over the phone or internet to someone you do not know.
  • Shred financial solicitations or financial statements before disposing of them.
  • Deposit your mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
  • If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail and steal your identity.
  • Do not use your mother's maiden name or other common information, such as a phone number, birth dates, etc., for passwords.
  • Keep a list of credit card and bank account numbers, expiration dates and phone numbers in a safe place.
  • Never leave your purse or billfold unattended (for example, in your car, motel room, etc.).
  • Protect all PINs and passwords. Change them often. Use a combination of lower- and uppercase letters and numbers.
  • Use virus protection software.
  • Do not open attachments or links from unknown senders.

Additional Websites and Information on Identity Theft & Fraud

These websites contain more information on securing sensitive data and protecting yourself or your business from identity theft and fraud. If you have any questions, please contact our bank Security Officer.