How to Protect Your Identity with Secure Checking
Tips from Sturgis Bank
As residents of Michigan, we like to be the best, the favorite tourist destination for lake lovers, or the place where college sports are most exciting. Sadly, the latest report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shows Michigan ranks #1 for identity theft. Restoring your identity is expensive and time consuming, costing you about $1200 and 30 to 60 hours on average, according to the FTC.
Businesses take steps to protect your personal information by instituting policies and using technology. You’re encouraged to become your first line of defense by following best practices such as:
- Using strong, unique passwords for your online accounts
- Protecting your social security, Medicare, and health insurance numbers
- Monitoring your credit reports for suspicious activity
- Utilizing two-factor authentication, where you enter a password and then receive a 2nd code to register before accessing your account
- Shredding papers with personal information and cutting up expired credit cards
How Secure Checking Reduces Your Risk of Identity Theft
A Secure Checking Account from Sturgis gives you access to the following tools for safeguarding your identity:
- Total Identity Monitoring to watch your Name, Address, Date of Birth, and Social Security Number in more than 1,000 databases to catch compromises to your identity (or your children’s).
- Triple-Bureau Credit File Monitoring relies on daily reviews of your credit reports with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to track changes to your statements. You’ll receive alerts about suspicious activity through email or text message.
- Triple-Bureau Credit Report provides you with a new report at no cost, every 90 days upon request or after or receiving a credit alert.
- A Single Credit Score combined across the three bureaus delivered free with every new credit report.
Additional Secure Checking services include:
- Resolution Service with a dedicated fraud specialist. If you suspect fraud or have your identity stolen, you'll work with experienced recovery professionals to fully restore your credentials (and credit).
- Identity Theft Reimbursements up to $10,000 to cover the expense of restoring your identity. Costs include attorney fees, certified or notarized mail for sensitive documents, travel, and lost wage repayment if you must take time from work to correct your records.
- Debit/Credit/ATM Card Registration to protect your cards and limit your liability due to loss or theft.
- Educational Resources and News gives you the most recent information about identity theft and tips for safeguarding against fraud.
Keeping you more secure extends beyond protecting your identity.
- With a Secure Checking account, you’re also eligible for cell phone protection (payment from Secure Checking to phone contract required) and accidental death or dismemberment insurance.
- When you purchase with your debit card, Buyers Protection covers items up to 90 days for theft, accidental breakage, or fire damage.
- You’ll also receive Extended Warranty protection on any U.S. manufactured warrantied item, getting up to 1 full year of coverage.
As your Community Bank, Sturgis takes pride in keeping you and your account information safe. For more information about Secure Checking, call us at (888) 255-7372 or visit us at one of our branch offices across Southwest Michigan.