Identity Theft Help
What to do if you are a victim of identity theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission and commits fraud. Identity theft is a crime and action must be taken immediately when it occurs. To find out how to minimize your risk and what steps to take if you have been victimized, visit the Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Website. If you believe your Silver Lake Bank accounts have been tampered with, notify the bank immediately by phoning 1.877.232.0102.
How to Freeze and Monitor Your Credit
- A security freeze can prevent access to your credit reports by making it unavailable for the purpose of opening new credit in your name. Placing, removing, or temporarily lifting a freeze is free.
- Monitor your free credit reports. Federal law allows you to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company. Check with one agency every four months as spotting fraudulent activity takes only a few minutes.
Visit the websites below of the three major credit reporting companies and follow their instructions.
How you can Minimize the Threat of Identity Theft
- Secure your digital life by using a password manager and don’t reuse passwords. A thief can take a password and username from a data breach and try using them randomly at various institutions.
- Practice safe browsing and don’t click on links in strange emails or text messages.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone if it feels wrong.
- Cover your paper trail by shredding documents containing confidential information. You can also sign up for USPS Informed Delivery. The USPS scans your mail and sends you an email with images of the envelopes each day.
- Back up your computer. If you accidentally download ransomware or malware, it may be impossible to access your data unless you pay money. A backup helps you protect yourself so you can reset your computer if needed.
- Practice safe browsing online. Don’t click on links in strange emails or text messages.
- Protect your social security number and don’t carry it with you.
- Don't use obvious passwords.
- Never leave your checkbook, purse, wallet, or other important documents in your vehicle.
- If you receive an e-mail warning you that your account will be shut down unless you reconfirm certain information, do not click on the e-mail link. Instead, use a phone number or enter the web address yourself. Clicking on a link that looks legitimate may direct you to a fraudulent website.
- Before submitting any financial information to a legitimate website, look for the "lock" icon on the browser status bar, or look for "s" in "https" in the web address. Both are indications that the information is secure and encrypted during transmission.
- Keep a close eye on your account activity at the bank and report anything that looks suspicious.
- Don't judge by initial appearances. Just because something appears on the Internet (no matter how professional the website looks) doesn't mean it's real. The availability of software at minimal cost to set up a professional-looking website means that criminals can make their websites look impressive.
- Be wary of e-mails concealing true identity. If someone sends you an e-mail using a mail header that has no useful data (such as W6T7S8@provider.com), it may be an indication the sender is hiding something.