The first and most important step in preventing identity theft is through careful and diligent safeguarding of your personal and account information. Minimize your risk by being extra vigilant through these steps.

Safeguard Personal Information

1. Never respond to an unsolicited request for personal financial information, such as your social security number and account numbers, whether it is over the phone, through the mail or via the Internet. Phone scams can be particularly crafty.

2. Lock down your social networking profiles. Double check and make sure that your personal information is only available to those you trust. Don’t provide public access to your likes, dislikes, kid information, family details, pet names and travel plans, consequently making identity theft easier.

3. Do not have personal information, such as date of birth or driver’s license number pre-printed on your checks. Identity theft scammers often go through trash in search of these types of items. Shredding old checks is the best course.

4. Shred any documents containing personal information, including unused checks, ATM receipts, and old credit card receipts. For our Prestige members 55+, we provide a free quarterly Shred Day. Many of these items are stored electronically through e-Teller and Home Connect.

Safeguard your accounts

1. You won’t enjoy the enhanced security features of the EMV chip card by swiping it and using the magnetic strip. It’s always more secure to use your EMV chip to make purchases. Finally, if you haven’t received your EMV chip card, you can stop by any branch and upgrade to a new chip card.

2. Only provide your credit card number on a secure web page. Identify secure sites by a little lock displayed in your browser bar.

3. Use a single credit card with a low credit limit for internet purchases. This action will reduce damage if your card number is stolen.

4. Do not send credit card information via e-mail or instant messenger – they are not secure. Providing credit card information over a secure web page or over the phone are the safest communication channels.

Keep everything current

Review all account and credit card statements once they are received to quickly determine that no account mistakes are apparent.

If you notice suspicious activity, suspect fraud or have any other related issues, please email the Supervisory Committee immediately at supervisorycommittee@spiritofak.com.


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