New Year with Potential New Scams
Happy New Year to you!
For many, ringing in the New Year means creating a fresh start, complete with new goals and resolutions. Unfortunately, the New Year can also mean new internet scams that can steal individuals’ identities and money. In fact, about 41 million Americans have their identities stolen each year, with approximately 19 people per minute becoming victims of identity theft. Therefore, we would like to give you a few tips to keep you safe throughout the New Year.
- Check your credit reports regularly. Remain aware of your credit score and credit activity by obtaining a free copy of your credit report from each of the credit reporting bureaus per year: Equifax, Experian, and the Trans Union using a central website: www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
- Monitor your account statements to ensure that you recognize all activity.
- Limit what you share on social media sites. Avoid posting when you are out of town, as it can alert thieves to an empty house. Also, don’t publicly share personal information like your phone number or address; scam artists can take advantage of this information.
- Avoid doing any business or banking on unsecured Wi-Fi networks that don’t require a password.
- Shred all important documents. This includes tax information, credit card statements or any other financial documents.
- Keep your computer safe. Update your virus protection software, change passwords often, and shop on trustworthy websites that are secure. To ensure that a website is safe, look for a lock symbol in the URL menu bar or the “https” in front of the website address in the search bar.
- Cut up and destroy all credit cards before throwing them away. Consider opting out of any pre-approved credit card offers, which can easily be stolen from mailboxes by identity thieves.
- Never respond to emails or text messages requesting personal information. Do not click on links from unknown sources, and unsolicited emails.
- Choose a bank that offers free identity theft (ID) protection on your accounts. To protect its customers, ANB Bank provides a level of Identity Theft protection at no charge on all Personal Checking Accounts for the primary account holder, called IDSafeShield . This coverage helps provide recovery services in the event you become a victim of identity theft. Also, if you do become a victim of identity theft, IDSafeShield will provide you with a Personal Recovery Advocate that will bring you back to your pre-theft-status, no matter how long it takes! You can also choose to protect your entire family for one price, $12.99 per month with the Bank’s IDSafeShield PLUS Program (this program would include you, your spouse and up to four dependents. Dependents must be under the age of 25).
For more information on ANB’s IDSafeShield protection coverage, or more on how to protect yourself from Identity Theft and Cyber Criminals, please stop by your local branch and we would be more than happy to assist you.