What Is "Identity Theft"
Identity theft is the use of an individual's personal information such as a social security number, mother's maiden name, date of birth, or an account number to fraudulently open new credit card accounts, charge existing credit card accounts, write checks, open bank accounts or obtain new loans. Identity thieves may obtain this information through a number of means, including:
- Stealing wallets that contain personal identification information and credit cards;
- Stealing financial institution statements from the mail;
- Diverting mail from its intended recipients by submitting a change of address form;
- Rummaging through trash for personal data;
- Stealing personal identification information from workplace records;
- Intercepting or otherwise obtaining information transmitted electronically.
There is now a new form of Identity Theft called Phishing. We urge you read our web page about Phishing and how you can protect yourself.
How Do I Prevent "Identity Theft"
- Do not give personal information, such as account numbers or social security numbers, over the telephone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing.
- Store personal information in a safe place and tear up old credit card receipts, ATM receipts, old account statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
- Protect your PINs and other passwords. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your social security number, your phone number, etc.
- Carry only the minimum amount of identifying information and the number of credit cards you need.
- Pay attention to billing cycles and statements. Inquire to the bank if you do not receive a monthly bill; it may mean the bill has been diverted by an identity thief.
- Check account statements carefully to ensure all charges, checks, or withdrawals were authorized.
- Guard your mail from theft. If you have the type of mailbox with a flag to signal the box contains mail, do not leave bill payment envelopes in your mailbox with the flag up. Instead, deposit them in a post office collection box or at the local post office. Promptly remove incoming mail.
- Order copies of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year to ensure they are accurate. The law permits the credit bureaus to charge $8.50 for a copy of the report (unless you live in a state that requires the credit bureaus to provide you with one free copy of your report annually).
If you prefer not to receive pre-approved offers of credit, you can opt out of such offers by calling 1-888-5-OPT OUT 1.888.567.8688.
If you want to remove your name from many national direct mail lists, send your name and address to:
DMA Mail Preference Service
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
If You Are a Victim of "Identity Theft"
Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus and request they place a fraud alert and a victim's statement in your file. The fraud alert puts creditors on notice that you have been the victim of fraud and the victim's statement asks them not to open additional accounts without first contacting you.
Telephone numbers for the fraud departments of these credit bureaus are: Trans Union: 1.800.680.7289; Equifax: 1.800.525.6285; Experian: 1.888.397.3742. Credit bureaus must provide a free copy of your credit report if you have reason to believe the report is inaccurate because of fraud and you submit a request in writing.
Review your report to make sure no additional fraudulent accounts have been opened, or unauthorized changes made to your existing accounts. Also, check the section of your report that lists inquiries and request that inquiries from companies that opened the fraudulent accounts be removed.
Contact financial institutions or other creditors where you think your account(s) may be the subject of identity theft. Request that they restrict access to your account, change your account password, or close your account if there is evidence your account has been the target of criminal activity.
Also, file a report with your local police department. Contact the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline at 1.877.ID.THEFT 877.438.4338. Your information goes into a secure consumer fraud database and is shared with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
Internet Banking Authentication Security
First Federal Savings Bank is committed to doing everything possible to secure customer information such that unauthorized parties cannot access it. A number of measures have been taken to secure customer information over the Internet, one of which is the Login Name and Password used to authenticate (login) to Internet Banking.
The Login Name and Password are entered through a basic HTML object called a form. The form sends the entered information to a web server for processing through a process called "submit". Part of executing a "submit" involves telling the form where the data is to be transmitted. In the case of the Login Name and Password customers enter from the Bank Homepage, the form is instructed to submit the data to a web server that is protected by SSL. This is what makes the form post secure.
Prior to any exchange of information with a web server protected by SSL, the web browser is required to negotiate an SSL session through a process called an SSL handshake. Once the SSL session is negotiated between the web browser and the web server, the data being sent to the web server is encrypted by the web browser in such a way that only the client and the server involved in the SSL session can read it. Thus, the Login Name and Password entered from the website are secure as they are transmitted via the Internet.