What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is the taking of a victim’s identity, usually with the intent to obtain credit or steal money.
A stolen identity could allow a fraudster to:
- Apply for and obtain credit
- Obtain credit cards from banks and retailers
- Establish new accounts with utility companies
- Rent an apartment or house
- File bankruptcy in the victim’s name
- Pose as the victim on job applications
- Use the victim’s identity when in the custody of the authorities
What do I need to know about Identity Theft?
Identifying valid requests for your personal information and protecting your identity are not easy tasks. However, being familiar with the businesses you deal with and understanding the type of information they collect from you will help.
You should also be aware of some common tactics used to gain your personal information such as Email Spoofing, Phishing and Dumpster Diving.
- Email Spoofing is a technique used by fraudsters to disguise the true identity of an email to make the message appear as though it was sent from a known source. Many times spoofed emails will have serious subject lines which entice you to open the email. Common subject lines used in many spoofed emails will reference an urgent message for you, a threat of termination of an account or a need to verify your identity for “security purposes”. Fraudsters are able to spoof website addresses as well. You may believe a link in a spoofed email is valid but clicking on the link may take you to a false website or a website infected with a virus or other malicious code.
- Dumpster Diving is the physical removal of your personal information which is usually found on documents thrown in the trash. Most cross-cut shredders will make documents illegible and much safer to dispose of in the trash than un-shredded documents. For documents you choose to save and place into storage, it is important to ensure those documents are located in a safe environment.
What steps can I take to help protect my identity?
Cross-cut shred all documents containing personal information before tossing them in with your garbage.
Review account statements and bills and make sure each transaction listed matches your records.
Use caution on the internet to avoid spoofed emails and websites.
Avoid being caught in a phishing scheme by declining to release unnecessary personal information to those who do not need to know the information.
When should I contact Bank of Ocean City?
Please let us know if you have a question or concern about the security of your relationship with us.
If you ever have reason to believe the security of your account number, Online Advantage Access ID, password, Visa Debit Card or Visa Debit Card PIN has been compromised, please contact us immediately at one of our branch locations.
Contact a Bank of Ocean City Officer or Manager immediately if you have been approached online, on the phone or even in person by someone representing Bank of Ocean City but attempting to gain your personal information and have a reason to suspect the encounter was not official Bank of Ocean City business.
What should I do if I suspect my identity has been stolen?
As soon as you believe you have become a victim of Identity Theft you can refer to the Federal Trade Commission or Better Business Bureau websites for additional support including the steps necessary for reporting Identity Theft.