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When you least expect it, fraud can happen to you.

posted on Saturday, January 6, 2018 in Security & Fraud Information

Important Numbers and Websites

The Three Big Credit Companies:

  • Trans Union, 800.680.7289
  • Experian, 800.387.3742
  • Equifax, 800.525.6285

Important SHAZAM Numbers:

  • SHAZAM, 800.383.8000
    • To report lost or stolen cards 24/7
  • SHAZAM Fraud, 866.508.2693

When your identity gets stolen, it can be a life-changing experience. Here are some steps to get  your life back on track.

  1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports
    1. When you place an alert on your credit, this will prevent any other accounts from being opened.
    2. You can request to see if any changes seem suspicious.
  2. Close the accounts you think could be affected.
    1. Contact someone in fraud or security department of your financial institution
      1. include our numbers HERE
    2. Follow up in writing with copies of any supporting documents.
    3. If any debits exist on your accounts, or a new account has been opened, ask the financial institution for the correct paperwork to dispute this.
  3. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
    1. When you file with the FTC, you are providing information to help law enforcement officials track down thieves.
  4. File a report with local police department.
    1. Filing a report, along with a complaint to the FTC, can give you certain protections to ensure your identity can be protected and restored.

Tips to prevent identity theft

To stay on top of monitoring your identity, you are entitled to one free credit report a year. Use your credit report to check if anything seems suspicious, like an account you didn't open or debt that's not yours.

Beware of any organization that offers free credit bureau reports, most require a monetary membership.

You should never provide or confirm personal information, such as card numbers, social security numbers, information on the card, or your PIN, unless you know who you are dealing with or you started the contact.

Watch your bank account closely and know your billing cycles. If you know you have a bill due and you haven't seen the bill, call the issuer to investigate. Take advantage of home banking services, like online bill pay and online banking. By using these services you can avoid sensitive information left in your mailbox.

  • Don't carry Social Security cards with you.
  • Don't leave sensitive documents out in the open.
  • Shred sensitive materials before disposal.
  • Sign the back of your debit and credit cards.
  • Don't let anyone swipe your card twice without giving you a transaction cancelled receipt for the first transaction.

Northwest Bank values your privacy and security and that is why we have created a cyber security technology center to help protect your personal and financial information.

Learn Ways to Protect Your Information 

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