Identity theft happens when someone robs your personal information and uses it without your permission. It is a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history and reputation. It can take time, money, and patience to resolve.
Victims of identity theft involving Commercial Bank customers should call 989-875-4144 immediately during normal business hours, and ask for the Security Department or by visiting your local branch.
Report Identity Theft to:
- Your local Law Enforcement Agency
- Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov/complaint, or by calling 1-877-438-4338
- Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov/identitytheft, or by calling 1-800-908-4490
- Social Security Administration: www.socialsecurity.gov and type "Fraud" in the search box, or by calling 1-800-269-0271
There are three nationwide credit reporting companies that keep records of your credit history. If you think someone has misused your personal or financial information, call one of the companies and ask them to put an initial fraud alert on your credit report. An initial fraud alert can make it harder for an identity thief to open more accounts in your name. When you have an alert on your report, a business must verify your identity before it issues credit in your name, so they may try to contact you. You are also allowed to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies each year.
Contact one credit reporting company:
- Report that you are an identity theft victim.
- Ask the company to put a fraud alert on your credit file.
- Confirm that the company you call will contact the other two companies.
Avoiding Identity Theft
You can reduce your risk of being hurt by identity theft by protecting your personal information. Here are some things you can do:
- At home
- Keep your financial records, social security and medicare cards in a safe place.
- Shred papers that have your personal or medical information on them. Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements in a usable form.
- Take mail out of your mailbox as soon as you can.
- Reconcile your bank account monthly, and notify Commercial Bank of any discrepancies immediately.
- As you do business
- Only give your social security number if you must. Ask if you can use another kind of identification.
- Do not give your personal information to someone who calls you or emails you.
- Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.
- On the computer
- Use passwords that are not easy to guess. Use numbers and symbols when you can.
- Do not respond to emails or other messages that ask for personal information.
- Do not put personal information on a computer in a public place, like the library.
How will I know if someone steals my identity?
Read your bills and account statements.
- Things you did not buy.
- Withdrawals you did not make.
- A change of your address that you did not expect.
- Bills that stop coming.
Stay safe with tips from Commercial Bank Michigan.