If You Are Contacted By Citizens Bank, REMEMBER
- Be positive you know with whom you are speaking on the phone BEFORE giving out credit card, Debit Card or bank account numbers
- Citizens Bank will NOT ask for your ATM or Debit Card PIN (personal identification number) for any reason
- Citizens Bank will NEVER contact you via e-mail regarding sensitive financial information
- If you receive a phone call from someone identifying himself or herself with Citizens Bank and you are unsure of the person's identity, hang up and call us back to verify the authenticity of the person with whom you are speaking
How to Avoid Identity Theft
The best protection against identity theft is to carefully protect your personal information, for example:
- Do not share personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the internet unless you initiated the contact or know the person you are dealing with;
- Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly online and asks for your personal information. It doesn’t matter how legitimate the e-mail or website may look. Only open e-mails that look like they are from people or organizations you know, and even then, be cautious if they look questionable. Be especially wary of fraudulent e-mails or websites that have typos or other obvious mistakes;
- Don’t give out valuable personal information in response to unsolicited requests. Social Security numbers, financial account information and your driver’s license number are some of the details that should be kept confidential;
- Shred old receipts, account statements, and unused credit card offers;
- Choose PINs and passwords that would be difficult to guess and avoid using easily identifiable information such as your mother’s maiden name, birth dates, the last four digits of your social security number, or phone numbers;
- Pay attention to billing cycles and account statements and contact your bank if you don’t receive a monthly bill or statement since identity thieves often divert account documentation;
- Review account statements thoroughly to ensure all transactions are authorized;
- Guard your mail from theft, promptly remove incoming mail, and do not leave bill payment envelopes in your mailbox with the flag up for pick up by mail carrier;
- Obtain your free credit report annually and review your credit history to ensure it is accurate;
- Use an updated security program to protect your computer; and
- Be careful about where and how you conduct financial transactions, for example don’t use an unsecured Wi-Fi network because someone might be able to access the information you are transmitting or viewing.
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Other Tips For Added Protection
- When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
- Don’t pre-print your telephone number on your checks.
- Consider using your PO Box or work address on your checks instead of your home address.
- Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks.
- Make a photocopy of the contents of your wallet - copy both sides of your driver’s license, credit cards, etc. Keep the photocopy in a safe place, NOT IN YOUR WALLET.
- Carry a photocopy of your passport when you travel here or abroad.
Useful Links and Phone Numbers
Credit Reporting Agencies:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 or visit them online at www.equifax.com.
- Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742 or visit them online at www.experian.com.
- Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289 or visit them online at www.transunion.com.
- Request your Free annual credit file disclosure at www.annualcreditreport.com.