Protecting Your Identity
Once thieves obtain your personal information, they may be able to open accounts, establish services or take out loans in your name. When it comes to protecting yourself from identity theft, the best weapons are knowledge and awareness. Here are some tips that will help protect your identity from being compromised:
- Protect your Social Security Number, account numbers and other confidential information. Never give your personal information to people or companies you do not know, whether in person, on the phone or online. Remember, First Citizens will never contact you to request this type of information.
- Always shred financial statements, receipts, insurance forms and credit offers you receive in the mail. Sign up for e-statements and reduce the amount of paper mail you receive that contains confidential information.
- Protect your passwords. Avoid easily-identified passwords such as your birthday or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Combinations of letters, numbers and special characters make the strongest passwords.
- Monitor your online accounts and financial statements regularly for any suspicious or unauthorized activity.
- Review your credit report regularly. You can request a copy of your free annual credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling
The Federal Trade Commission has developed an online resource at www.ftc.gov/idtheft with detailed information on identity theft, including instructions on what to do if you become a victim.