Identity theft occurs when an individual’s personal information (name, address, Social Security number (SSN), credit/debit card information, etc.) is used to commit theft or fraud without their knowledge. Your information can be sold online or in-person and be used to file fraudulent tax returns, obtain credit reports, access bank accounts, create IDs or apply for loans.
What steps should I take if I am a victim of identity theft?
- If you believe you may have been the victim of identity theft, visit the Identity Theft Resource Center, or call the center's toll-free at 888.400.5530 for advice on how to resolve identity-theft issues. All of the center's services are free.
- Notify all three credit bureaus and ask that a fraud alert be placed on your file.
- Request a copy of your credit report which is free to identity theft victims.
- Notify all financial institutions where the fraud occurred. If you are a customer of UMB and believe you are a victim of identity theft,call 800.860.4862 and a customer service representative will assist you. You may also visit the nearest UMB banking center for assistance.
- Notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 877.438.4338.
- Keep carefully written records of everyone you speak with and what was discussed, including names, dates and times, and use registered mail when sending important correspondence
- File the appropriate local police reports and request a copy of each report for your records.
- Freeze your credit files at the three major credit bureaus listed above. Remember that generally it is not possible to sign up for credit monitoring services after a freeze is in place. For advice on how to file a freeze on a state-by-state basis, visit the ConsumersUnion Security Freeze page.
How can thieves get my personal information and how can I prevent it?
It's important that you check your bank and credit card statements regularly for unauthorized activity. The following are some additional scams and tactics cybercriminals use to help take your personal information:
Social Engineering/Phishing Scams
There are various phishing and social engineering scams that target victims by phone, email,social media and in person claiming they are from a legitimate company and need to update your account information, issue you a refund, remove a virus on your computer, etc. Never provide personal information over the phone, via email, social media or in person to someone you do not know. If you believe the caller or online message isn’t legitimate, trust your instinct and contact the actual company directly to verify the request.
UMB will never ask for your account or personal information via email, text message, social media message or through an unsolicited phone call. To report a suspicious email or phone call related to your UMB account, please forward the email or call details to us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the easiest ways a cybercriminal can gather information about you is to dig through the trash. Never throw out anything that has your account numbers or personal information on it without shredding it first. Using a crosscut paper shredder will prevent the thief from pasting strips or credit cards back together to get your personal information.
There are many vulnerable items containing your personal information that you put in your mailbox every day. If you are going to be out of town and don’t have a locked mailbox, contact the United States Postal Service (USPS) at 800.275.8777 to request your mail be held or visit their website. When mailing items that contain personal information or checks, mail them in a sealed mailbox or drop them at your local post office.
Using Wireless Networks
Do not connect to free, unsecured public Wi-Fi (coffee shop, retail store, etc.) because you never know who is using it and for what purpose. A cybercriminal may be able to view personal information that is being sent or received on the wireless network. Only use your laptop or mobile device on secure wireless networks.
ATM Skimming Device
Sometimes thieves can attach a skimming device to the card reader on an ATM or gas pump in order to capture account information when a customer swipes their credit or debit card. Usually the skimming device is hard for a customer to detect. Make sure the security seal matches the company you are using at the ATM or gas station. A small camera can also be used to record the PIN number that is entered for transactions. In order to protect your PIN, shield the keypad with one hand while entering in your PIN with your other hand.
Checkbooks, bills, and financial statements may be stored in your top desk drawer or perhaps piled up on your kitchen counter. Secure personal information in your home in a file cabinet or safe. This is especially important if you have others living with you, frequently hire outside help or are having service work done in your home.
Remember to only carry what you need. Don't carry extra credit cards, your passwords, your Social Security card or passport in your wallet or purse. In addition, when you're waiting in line to use an ATM or pay for an item at a retail outlet, avoid taking your card out of your purse or wallet before payment is needed to avoid a cybercriminal from seeing the card numbers or other personal information.
Information Security Sources & Resources
To read more about information security, visit the following resource websites: