Identity theft is a true crime that has real effects. Victims can spend valuable time (possibly years) sorting out legal and financial problems. There is no guarantee it won't happen to you, but you can take preventative measures.
Secure Your Personal Information
- Be sure your Personal Identification Numbers (PIN's) are not carried with your checkbook, ATM or debit cards.
- Documents containing personal or banking information should be shredded. Don't just throw them away.
- Never give out personal information over the internet, phone or by email unless you have initiated the contact.
- Take note of when your monthly bills arrive. Review them as soon as possible for activity that may not be yours.
- Use electronic statements whenever possible.
- Mail outgoing bill payments from the post office or secure location, not your home. MBL Bank offers Online Bill Pay.
- Avoid adding your address or telephone number when signing a credit or check card slip.
- Identity thieves go through dumpsters at stores so dispose of receipts at home.
Be extra cautious if your receipt displays your full card number
Protect Your Financial Information
- If you cannot locate your checks, debit or credit cards, report it immediately. Be sure your new and cancelled checks are stored safely. Make sure unused cards are canceled and cut up.
- Statements should be reviewed carefully. You can monitor your accounts anytime and as often as you like at MBL Bank Online Banking.
- Question any suspicious charges. Don't hesitate to contact MBL Bank or the appropriate issuer if you feel a transaction is not yours.
- Do not include our driver's license or social security number on your checks.
Don't Be Afraid to Monitor Your Credit & Credit Report
- You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each major consumer reporting agency – Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax – under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Watch for suspicious inquiries, unexplained accounts, incorrect balances and typos. To order your free reports, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228.
- Confirm all requests for new account opened in your name by asking the credit report agencies for fraud alert protection.
- Don't carry credit cards with you that you don't use on a regular basis.
- Credit offers you receive can be limited by contacting the National Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies at 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
Talk to Companies & Government Agencies
- When dealing with banks, credit card companies, motor vehicle departments, utilities, insurance and phone providers, request to have as little information as possible on printed cards.
- Ask companies and organizations about their privacy policies.
- Be aware that you often have many avenues of information sharing blocked, just by asking.
Make Good Password Choices
- Passwords and PINs should be hard to guess by mixing numbers, letters and symbols.
- Avoid using social security number, mother's maiden name, birth dates, your kids' names or sports teams.
- We recommend changing your passwords regularly, at least every 90 days.
Protect Your Social Security Number
- Do not carry your social security card or number with you.
- Do not have it printed on your checks.
- Unless your state requires it, it should not be on your driver's license.
- Remember that government applications and financial forms are the only places you must use your social security number, such as tax forms and credit applications.
Ask For Help from Your Employer
- Employers should guard your files closely. Identity thieves are increasingly hitting groups of peoples and workplaces.
- Know who has permission to have access to your records.
Phone & Email Scams
- Be aware of phone, text and email scams.
- Do not give out personal information over the phone, unless you initiated the contact.
- Be alert to email phishing scams. It is good practice to never send personal information via email. Emails can appear to be from a legitimate source when they are not.
- Know that MBL Bank will never make an unsolicited phone request for your account information, password or other sensitive data. We do not request confidential information via email or text.
- If you have any questions or receive a call, text, or email referencing MBL Bank that you feel is suspicious, please call us at (318) 377-0523.
If you note an error or have questions about electronic transactions on your account, please see the back of your statement or the bottom of your eStatement for resolution procedures. Please note that business accounts are not covered under the same regulations as consumer accounts. Therefore, business account holders should watch their account activity with greater diligence. If you believe there has been an unauthorized or inaccurate electronic funds transfer on your account, please contact us as soon as possible.