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Sturgis Bank Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the top complaints consumers submit to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) every year. The growth of identity theft prompted the FTC to dedicate a week to education about protecting yourself because your best line of defense against identity theft is….you! The Sturgis Bank team compiled useful tips to help you prevent identity theft and steps to take if your identity is stolen.

What is Identity Theft?

When someone illegally takes your personal information such as your address, Social Security Number, or bank account number, you’re a victim of identity theft. Thieves use your identification to make purchases, change account information, or open new credit cards.

In most cases, financial institutions like Sturgis Bank will work with you to minimize your financial losses, but damage to your credit rating may take longer to repair.

How does Identity Theft happen?

Criminals interested in taking your personal information use a variety of methods, including:

  • Stealing your purse, wallet, or mobile phone
  • Watching you enter your PIN at an ATM or retail store
  • Intercepting mail sent through the U.S. post office
  • Accessing your emails
  • Sifting through your garbage
  • Impersonating banks, the IRS, and other agencies to convince you to share personal information
  • Sending fake texts or emails asking you to enter personal information
Preventing Identity Theft
  • Never provide personal financial information, including account numbers, passwords, or your Social Security number over the phone or via the internet unless you initiated the contact.
  • Never click on a link provided in an email that you think is fraudulent. In addition to stealing your personal information, the link may include a virus that can affect your computer’s performance.
  • Do not be threatened by an email or caller who suggests serious consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information.
  • If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a contact, go to the company’s website by typing in the site address or using a bookmarked page. Don’t use the link provided in the email.
Signs of Identity Theft

If you notice any of the following activities, your identity may be at risk.

  • You didn’t receive an expected statement or bill.
  • You get a credit card or billing statement for an account you didn’t open.
  • A retailer declines your credit card.
  • You can’t get a credit card or receive offers with less favorable terms.
  • Unauthorized transactions occur on your credit card or bank account.
  • New accounts show on your credit report.
  • Creditors or debt collectors call about merchandise or services that you didn’t purchase.
  • You get security alerts from your credit card company, bank, or a creditor alerting you to a login, change of address, or transaction.
What to Do if You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

If you notice any suspicious activity on your accounts or experience theft, alert Sturgis Bank immediately. We’ll put additional security on your account. When you choose Sturgis Bank’s Secure Checking account, you’ll receive identity theft protection, which includes monitoring, resolution service, and theft reimbursements. To learn more about Sturgis Bank’s Secure Checking account, click here.

We also recommend:

  • Placing fraud alerts on your credit files.
    • When you call any one of the three consumer reporting companies below, they’ll notify the other two to place alerts on their versions of your report.
  • Monitoring your credit files and account statements
  • Reporting suspicious emails or calls to the Federal Trade Commission via the internet at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338)

To learn more what to do if you become a victim of identity theft, visit:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft

Identity Theft

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