Union Bank of Sparta promotes identity theft prevention education for customers and non-customers. The bank provides an annual shredding service to the community along with informational materials from the Federal Trade Commission. For more information regarding our annual shredding service, please contact Union Bank of Sparta at 608-269-6737.
About Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when your personal identifying information (name, social security number, or credit card number, etc.) is used by someone without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
Identity theft is serious. Although some identity theft victims can put an end to their problems promptly, others spend a lot of time and money repairing damage to their good name and credit record. In some cases, consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans because of negative information on their credit reports. In exceptional cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit.
You can minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft and the potential damage by making it more difficult for identity thieves to access your personal information.
- Protect your Social Security number
- Treat your trash and mail carefully
- Be cautious when using the Internet
- Select intricate passwords
- Verify a source before sharing information
- Safeguard your purse and wallet
- Store information in secure locations
Stay alert for the signs of identity theft, which include the following:
- Accounts you didn't open and debts on your accounts that you can't explain
- Fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit reports
- Mail or bills that do not arrive as expected. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks
- Receiving unexpected credit cards that you didn't apply for
- Being denied credit or being offered less favorable credit terms for no apparent reason
- Receiving calls or letters regarding merchandise or services you didn't buy
Early detection of a potential identity theft can make a big difference. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity by regularly monitoring your financial statements and your credit report.
If you are a victim of identity theft, the following four steps should be taken as soon as possible. A record should be kept with the details of your conversations and copies of all correspondence.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review the reports carefully
- Close any accounts that you believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
- File a police report.