Customer Awareness - Identity
Each year, millions of Americans have their identity stolen.
Americas United Bank wants you to have the information you need to
protect yourself against identity theft. While there are no
guarantees about avoiding identity theft, it’s important for you to
We will never initiate a request
for sensitive information from you (such as, social security number,
personal login ID, password, PIN or account number) nor ask you to
verify account information via email.
We strongly suggest that you do not
share your personal login ID, password, PIN or account number with
anyone, under any circumstances.
If you receive an email that requests
this type of action, you should be suspicious of it and contact us
immediately at (818) 637-7000. We also suggest you report suspicious
emails or calls to the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet
at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft involves the unlawful acquisition and use of
someone's identifying information, such as:
Date of Birth
Social Security Number
Mother’s Maiden Name
Bank or Credit Card Account Number
Thieves then use the information to
repeatedly commit fraud in an attempt to duplicate your identity
which may include opening new accounts, purchasing automobiles,
applying for loans, credit cards, and social security benefits,
renting apartments and establishing services with utility and
telephone companies. It can have a negative effect on your credit
and create a serious financial hassle for you.
How do they get my personal information?
Lost or stolen personal items: They may obtain your personal
information by finding or stealing your checkbooks, credit cards,
driver license or Social Security cards.
Mail: They may steal your mail, including bank and credit
card statements, credit card offer, new checks, and tax information.
They may also complete a "change of address form" to divert your
mail to another location.
Onlookers: They will watch and/or listen to you conduct
personal business such as entering your PIN when you use your ATM or
debit card or when you are talking on the telephone.
Dumpster diving: They may rummage through your trash, the
trash of businesses, or public trash dumps in a practice known as
Internet: They use the Internet to look for personal pages
that contain information like genealogical data with your mother's
maiden name that can be used to set up a credit card account or
possibly access existing accounts.
Phishing: They may obtain personal information from you
through the use of "pop-ups" or emails. These emails have Internet
links to deceive you into disclosing sensitive information such as
bank account numbers and social security numbers. Oftentimes the
email appears as if it comes from a trusted source. It directs you
to a "spoof" website that encourages you to divulge sensitive
Pretexting: They may obtain your personal information on the
phone by posing as a legitimate company and claiming that you have a
problem with your account.
Skimming: They may steal your credit or debit card numbers by
capturing the information in a data storage device in a practice
known as "skimming". They may swipe your card for an actual
purchase, or attach the device to an ATM machine where you may enter
or swipe your card.
Inside Jobs: They get information from businesses or other
stealing records or information while
they're on the job
bribing an employee who has access to these records
hacking these records
conning information out of employees
How do I protect my identity?
- Report lost or stolen checks or
credit cards immediately.
- Shred all documents containing
personal information, like bank statements, unused checks, deposit
slips, credit card statements, pay stubs, medical billings, and
- Don't put your trash out until
shortly before it will be picked up.
- Pay bills online or mail bill
payments and other items that contain personal information at a
U.S. Postal Service drop box rather than in your curb side
mailbox. Don't put any mail in your curb side mailbox until
shortly before it will be picked up daily.
- Take your mail out of your curb
side mailbox as soon as possible after it has been delivered. If
you are traveling, have the U.S. Postal Service hold your mail or
have someone you trust pick it up daily.
- Limit the information on your
checks (for example, don't include driver's license number, social
security number, or telephone number), and don't carry around any
more cards than necessary.
- Don't give any of your personal
information in person, over the telephone, or over the Internet to
anyone-unless you have a very good reason to trust them.
- Don't give any of your personal
information to any web sites that do not use encryption or other
secure methods to protect it.
- Use a firewall if you have a
high-speed Internet connection. This software can be purchased
on-line or from most software retailers.
- Don't use PINs or other passwords
that are easy to guess (for example, don't use birth dates or
spouse, child, pet or mothers maiden names). Regularly change your
passwords. Also, create a username that is unique and difficult
for others to guess.
- Examine your credit card and
financial institution statement immediately upon receipt to
determine whether there was any unauthorized transactions. Report
any that you find immediately to the financial institution.
- Make a prompt inquiry if bills or
statements are not received in a timely fashion-this could mean
that they are being diverted by an identity thief.
- Obtain copies of your credit
report periodically from each of the three major reporting
agencies to be sure that they are accurate. Experian, Equifax, and
Trans Union are required to provide you with one free credit
report a year.
What do I do if I suspect I'm a victim of fraud or my identity
has been stolen?
If you suspect that your personal information has been compromised,
follow these important steps:
- Immediately notify us and your
other financial institution(s). You'll need to get new account
numbers and select a new PIN. If you are in fact a victim of
identity theft, we will offer assistance to help remedy the
- Report any suspicious activity
immediately. Scrutinize the charges on your financial statements
carefully to ensure that they are legitimate. If there is a
questionable transaction or a fraudulent transaction, report it
- Call the three major credit
bureaus to request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit
- Contact your local police
department. Financial fraud is a crime.
- Call the Federal Trade
Commission's ID Theft hotline at (877) IDTHEFT to report it. The
FTC maintains a program to assist victims of identity theft. The
Center logs complaints and provides assistance and information to
victimized consumers to rectify damage to their credit and
- Notify the U.S. Postal Inspectors
Office. Victims of fraud should contact their local post office to
report any crime involving stolen mail or use of the mail in
furtherance of a fraud scheme. It is a felony.
- Contact the Social Security
Administration at (800) 269-0271. The Social Security Hotline
allows a victim of identity theft to report misuse of a Social
Security number. You may also visit your local Social Security
Office to obtain further information.
- Contact the Department of Motor
Vehicles. If your driver's license is stolen, report the theft
immediately to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Ensure
that a duplicate license was not recently issued in your name to
- Keep detailed notes of your repair
efforts. Keep a log of all contacts and copies of all documents,
follow up your contact calls in writing.
Check these resources for more
information on identity theft and what to do if you're a victim:
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- The Federal Deposit Insurance
- United States Department of
- ABA Education Foundation
P O Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30349-5069
To order a report: (800) 685-1111
To report fraud: (800) 525-6285
P O Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013-0949
To order a report: (888) 397-3742
To report fraud: (888) 397-3742
P O Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
To order a report: (800) 916-8800
To report fraud: (800) 680-7289