Protect Yourself from Identify Theft
Bank of Southern California, N.A. is dedicated to safeguarding your identity from fraud and theft. Please review the sources below for more information on how you can protect yourself.
Source: Banc Investment Daily, October 11, 2006, www.bancinvestment.com
The number one way ID theft occurs (30% of cases) is through lost or stolen wallets, checkbooks or credit cards. Studies show that 90% of compromised data still happens through traditional offline channels and not through the Internet. About 50% of all ID theft is perpetrated by friends, neighbors, employees, or relatives. It takes about 40 hours for a victim of ID theft to clean up the mess, a 21% jump over the past 3 years. Approximately 11% of fraud cases are caught via credit monitoring reports.
Here are a few best practice suggestions:
- Never release Social Security or account numbers in response to e-mail or phone requests.
- Keep all sensitive documents, checkbooks, and credit cards securely locked up and carry the minimum number of credit cards needed.
- Call (619) 464-5800 or (760) 788-8788 to verify requests purporting to be from the bank.
- Review bank statements online every two weeks. A study done by the Better Business Bureau found that people who access accounts online detect crime earlier than those who rely only on mailed monthly paper statements (22 days vs. 67 days). The study also found that victims of ID theft who detected the crime by monitoring accounts online experienced financial losses that were less than 1/8 of those who detected it via paper statements.
- Use direct deposit and automatic payroll as a theft reduction opportunity.
- Keep passwords hidden, change them frequently, and shred all private documents.
You Have the Power to Stop Identity Theft: This informative PDF was written by the federal bank, credit union and thrift regulatory agencies. The document educates you about "phishing" attacks, protection and what to do if you fall victim to identity theft.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: The FDIC website provides valuable tips and strategies to protect yourself from identity theft.