Prevent Identity Theft
Identity thieves can use your information to apply for credit, steal your tax refund, or even charge medical care—all of which can take an emotional and financial toll on you.
Avoiding ID Theft
- Watch for shoulder-surfers. When entering a PIN number or a credit card number in an ATM machine, at a phone booth, or even on a computer at work, be aware of who is nearby and make sure nobody is peering over your shoulder to make a note of the keys you're pressing.
- Calls claiming to be from the Bank. Know that we will NEVER call and ask you for your PIN or PASSWORD. If someone calls and asks you to verify this information over the phone – BE SUSPICIOUS! Also be on guard if a caller says they are from the bank's audit or security department. Always call our published phone number directly.
- Use digital wallets. ApplePay, AndroidPay, and SamsungPay are available to use with your American Riviera Bank debit card. When you use one of these digital wallets your cardholder information is not shared and remains secure on your mobile device.
- Shred everything. One of the ways that would-be identity thieves acquire information is through "dumpster-diving", aka trash-picking. If you are throwing out bills and credit card statements, old credit card or ATM receipts, medical statements or even junk-mail solicitations for credit cards and mortgages, you may be leaving too much information lying about. Buy a personal shredder and shred all papers with personal information on them before disposing of them.
- Destroy digital data. When you sell, trade or otherwise dispose of a computer system, mobile device, hard drive, thumb drive, or even a recordable CD, DVD or backup tape, you need to take extra steps to ensure the data is completely, and irrecoverably destroyed. Use a Tools exist to erase hard drives and removable media securely, however physically destroying the device is also a viable option. Shredders designed specifically to shred CD / DVD media and other storage devices exist, as well as vendors offering secure destruction services.
- Be diligent about checking statements. Verify the charges, purchases or other entries on your statement are legitimate and match up with your records so that you can quickly identify and address any suspicious activity. For secure access to electronic copies of your statements, register within online or mobile banking for e-statement delivery.
- Send sensitive postal mail directly from the post office. Never leave paid bills and other sensitive mail in your mailbox. A thief who steals your mail would be able to acquire your name, address, credit account number, your bank information including the routing number and account number from the bottom of the check, and a copy of your signature from your check making forgery possible
- Limit the information on your checks. It may be convenient to have your driver’s license number imprinted on your personal checks to save time, but if a check is stolen more of your personal information is at risk. Analyze your credit report annually. This has always been a good practice, and is now easier than ever before, in fact it is possible to get a free look at your credit report once per year. The big three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) cooperate to provide free credit reports to consumers through the website, https://annualcreditreport.com.
- Protect your Social Security number. It is often suggested that you do not carry your Social Security in your wallet with your driver’s license and other identification. Never use your Social Security Number as any part of a username or password and you should never divulge it to telephone solicitors or in response to email requests.
- On-Line Shopping. When you do make online purchases, do so from a trusted device and if possible use a digital wallet to protect your card number.
Reporting ID Theft
You can report Identity Theft at https://www.identitytheft.gov/. They will help you create a recovery plan.