Identity Theft Awareness and Prevention
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. For your protection, you should always carefully monitor your business and personal bank accounts for fraudulent activity. If you ever see anything unusual, immediately contact your local Bank of Marin office or our Client Services Department at 415-884-3021. Read more about how to report identity theft or fraud.
Tips to protect yourself from identity theft
- Don’t give your Social Security number over the phone unless it’s absolutely necessary and you know the identity of the person requesting the information.
- Be wary of giving out other identifying information, such as birthplace and mother’s maiden name unless you are sure of the person requesting the information. This information is often used by financial institutions for identification purposes.
- Lock your mailbox. If that is not possible, empty it as soon as possible after mail delivery.
- Don’t leave letters for pickup outside your box. Put them in a secure U.S. Postal Service box or take them to the post office.
- Check your credit report at the three national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union) at least annually and look for unauthorized activity.
- Buy a paper shredder (they aren’t expensive) and use it to dispose of old financial records (including tax returns), pre-approved credit card offers and any other documents that may contain identifying information.
- Don’t leave behind receipts that have credit or debit card numbers at ATMs, stores or gas pumps.
- Don’t put credit card or personal information on a website unless you know that it is secure.
- Remember to keep your digital information secure. Review some general online security tips here: Online Security.
- To reduce the risk of identity theft, you should periodically review your credit report. To obtain your free annual credit report go to: www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Utilize the resources available from the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft site.
- View Bank of Marin’s Customer Resources for further resources.