IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION
What is identity theft?
Identity theft affects over 11 million people every year. One identity theft typically takes 165 hours to restore (ITRC), and each year there are roughly $54 billion in total losses as a result (Javelin Strategy & Research). Identity theft is when someone, without your permission, uses any of your personal information (credit card, SSN, address, etc.) to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft costs millions of Americans time and money every year, and we want to help you avoid being one of them.
To protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft, please follow these steps:
- Destroy unused credit card offers and other documents containing your personal information before discarding them.
- Guard your Social Security number.
- Never give out your Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your credit, debit, or ATM card(s). Don’t write on or keep your PINs with your cards. You should also guard your ATM and credit card receipts.
- Don’t release information to people you do not know, especially over the phone or Internet.
- Don’t pre-print your driver’s license, telephone or Social Security numbers on your checks.
- Review bank statements for accuracy when they arrive. If you have internet access, check activity at least weekly.
- Report lost or stolen checks or cards immediately. Independent Bank will block payment on the check numbers involved.
- Make sure the Internet sites where you shop are secure. You can verify a site’s security by looking for a padlock icon in the address line, an “s” after the http in the Web site address (https://), or by checking the website’s properties to verify the URL address is the same.
- Obtain a free copy of your credit report annually by contacting:
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If you become a victim:
- Contact your bank and all others with whom you have a financial relationship
- File a police report if you have a loss
- Report the fraud to the major credit bureaus:
- Equifax: 800.525.6285
- Experian: 800.397.3742
- Trans Union: 800.680.7289
- Contact your local police and ask to file a report. Even if the police can’t catch the identity thief, having a police report can help you clear up your credit records later on.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Call the FTC’s identity theft hotline toll-free at 1 (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338). The hotline is staffed by counselors trained to help victims and take their complaints. You may also file a complaint online at FTC.
- Complete the identity theft affidavit, which will assist you in reporting to many companies that a new account has been opened in your name. To download a copy of the identity theft affidavit from the FTC Web site, select the link: Identity Theft Affidavit.
- To learn more about identity theft protection, visit the FTC website.
Mastercard uses internet surveillance technology to monitor thousands of websites and millions of data points to alert enrolled cardholders if their personal information is found. When compromised data is discovered, cardholders receive a real-time email alert and are advised to contact an Identity Theft Specialist. Cardholders may enroll for Mastercard Identity Theft Alerts at Mastercard.us/idtheftalerts and select which personal information they would like monitored for FREE,*** including Social Security number, driver's license, passport number, bank account information, email addresses, and medical information. You are not required to supply all of this information, however, the more information provided, the more effective the service. This service is available for credit, debit, small business, and certain reloadable prepaid cards (Mastercard or other).
Identity Theft Resolution Services
If someone attempts to steal your identity, Identity Theft Resolution with Wallet Protection** through Mastercard can help you resolve the situation promptly. You get an ID Theft Affidavit and an ID Theft Resolution Kit as well as access to a number of services, including credit bureau notification. You also have access to a 24-hour provider who will lock out all of your reported cards and documents, and, if needed, the provider can coordinate a conference call with your card issuer.
Additional Identity theft protection
We’re committed to safeguarding your privacy. To learn more about identity theft protection, visit the Harland Clarke website.
**Certain restrictions, terms, and conditions apply. Contact 800.Mastercard or see your Guide to Benefits (mailed upon account opening) for full details.
***Must have a Mastercard to enroll in the service, but are not limited to loading only Mastercard for monitoring.