January 10, 2017
Community State Bank wants to be your partner in protecting your identity and your finances. In our over 100 years of banking, we have learned some of the old rules are your best protection.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
There have been countless scams dealing with the winning of foreign lotteries. Other scams involve selling items and receiving a check for more than the selling price. If the sender of the check requests you to return some of the money by wire or a cashier's check or to send it on to someone else, discuss this with someone at the bank before you do it.
“Don’t talk to strangers.”
Do not give out your information to people on the phone or on the internet unless you know they are legitimate. No reputable business, banking, or government agency is going to ask for your information in a phone call or email that they initiate. Hang up the phone. Use internet directories or telephone information services to get a number you can use to call the company. Do not use phone numbers they supply.
“Balance your checkbook.”
The monthly reconciliation of your check book is a basic defense against fraud. You are the person who most accurately knows what checks you have written, who should be making automatic debits or credits to your account, and what ATM and debit card transactions you have made. Keep accurate records and balance your account when you receive your monthly statement. At Community State Bank, we will assist you in researching any errors. If you need help in learning how to keep track of your account, contact your Commercial or Personal Banker.
“A place for everything and everything in its place”
Choose a secure place to store your checkbook and account information. Your check is a wealth of information about you. Keep it and other account information where it cannot be easily accessed by service people who come to your home or work on your vehicle. When it is time to discard these items, use a shredder to destroy them.
“Stop, Look, and Listen.”
Stop and take time to order your free credit report from the major credit reporting agencies. Each agency will supply you with one free credit report each year. By alternating between agencies, you can review your credit report quarterly. Look to see that all reporting is accurate and does not include any accounts you did not open.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Restoring your good name is a difficult, time consuming job. Every step you take in protecting your identity now will payoff later. Being an alert consumer and taking steps to protect your identifying information is your first line of defense.