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Computer-based technology adds not only speed and convenience to the banking world, it also opens the door to new or greater risks. To help you protect your financial information and be alert to financial dangers, we are furnishing you the BELOW security information:
Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information such as your name and Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information. For identity thieves, this information is as good as gold.
Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including:
- Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
- Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.
- Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.
- Pretexting. They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.
- Surfing. They look over your shoulder to obtain your information, such as your pin number at an ATM, a password at a cybercafe or your credit card information as you are holding it while you wait on line to make a purchase.
Pretexting is the practice of getting your personal information under false pretenses. Pretexters sell your information to people who may use it to get credit in your name, to steal your assets, or to investigate or sue you. Pretexting is against the law.
For example, a pretexter may call, claim he's from a research firm, the IRS or Better Business Bureau or other legitimate business and ask you for your name, address, birth date, and social security number. When the pretexter has the information he wants, he uses it to call your financial institution. He pretends to be you or someone with authorized access to your account. He might claim that he's forgotten his checkbook and needs information about his account. In this way, the pretexter may be able to obtain other personal information about you such as your bank and credit card account numbers, information in your credit report, and the existence and size of your savings and investment portfolios.
What does Orange County Trust Company do to safeguard customers information?
We recognize how important it is to protect your identity from unlawful use, and shield your accounts from fraud and unauthorized access. With this in mind, you can be assured that it is not our practice to:
- Send E-Mail that requires you to enter personal information directly into the E-Mail.
- Send E-Mail threatening to close your account if you do not take the immediate action of providing personal information.
- Send E-Mail asking you to reply by sending personal information.
Please exercise caution when reading E-Mail that may appear to have been sent by us. It's an unfortunate reality that criminals continue to devise ways to exploit technology in an effort to rip you off. One increasingly common scam is called "phishing" (pronounced "fishing"), where your personal information is the "catch of the day". They may even direct you to a web site they have set up that appears to be the bank's web site, for purposes of illegally collecting sensitive user information. Orange County Trust Company will never ask for sensitive information in this manner.
Be aware of email scams
Along with eCards containing viruses, phishing and spear phishing scams claiming to be from the IRS, Better Business Bureau, Fedex, the lottery, police agencies, and many others are showing up in the wild. These scams run year-round. Be aware that the criminal trend is not to target banks directly, but to target the customer base and have the customer compromise their bank, without knowing what is happening.
Report any suspicious E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Safeguard Your Information
- Shred financial documents, pre-approvals, pre-selected credit card offers, receipts and any paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
- Protect your Social Security number. Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check.
- Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact and know who you are dealing with.
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails.
- Don't use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your house.
- Never use your mailbox for outgoing mail.
- Account for all new checkbooks when you receive a new order in the mail.
- Be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. Block your transaction with your body.
- Memorize your passwords and PIN numbers. Do Not carry them with you.
- Obtain a free copy of your credit report annually to review and monitor your history at, annualcreditreport.com, the only official site recommended by the Federal Trade Commission.
What to do if you are a victim
As soon as you suspect a problem, contact your financial institution and credit card company to close your accounts. File a Police report and obtain a copy of the report. Contact the Federal Trade Commission theft hotline 1-877-438-4338 and the Social Security Fraud hotline 1-800-269-0271. Place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports, and review the reports carefully. The alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they can open new accounts in your name or make certain changes to your existing accounts. The three nationwide credit reporting companies have toll-free numbers for placing an initial 90-day fraud alert; a call to one company is sufficient:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-Experian (397-3742)
- Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts on your accounts that you can't explain.