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Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

How identity thieves get your personal information:

  • They steal wallets and purses containing your identification and credit and bank cards.
  • They steal your mail, including your bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, and tax information.
  • They complete a "change of address form" to divert your mail to another location.
  • They rummage through your trash, or the trash of businesses, for personal data in a practice known as "dumpster diving."
  • They fraudulently obtain your credit report by posing as a landlord, employer, or someone else who may have a legitimate need for, and legal right to, the information.
  • They find personal information in your home.
  • They use personal information you share on the Internet.
  • They scam you, often through e-mail, by posing as legitimate companies or government agencies you do business with.
  • They get your information from the workplace in a practice known as "business record theft" by: stealing files out of offices where you're a customer, employee, patient, or student; bribing an employee who has access to your files; or "hacking" into electronic files.

 

How identity thieves use your personal information:

  • They call your credit card issuer and, pretending to be you, ask to change the mailing address on your credit card account. The imposter then runs up charges on your account. Because your bills are being sent to the new address, it may take some time before you realize there's a problem.
  • They open a new credit card account, using your name, date of birth, and SSN. When they use the credit card and don't pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report.
  • They establish phone or wireless service in your name.
  • They open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on that account.
  • They file for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they've incurred under your name, or to avoid eviction.
  • They counterfeit checks or debit cards, and drain your bank account.
  • They buy cars by taking out auto loans in your name.
  • They give your name to the police during an arrest. If they're released from police custody, but don't show up for their court date, an arrest warrant is issued in your name.

 

Minimize Your Risk -- Identity Theft Prevention Tips

By managing your personal information wisely, cautiously, and with an awareness of identity theft risks, you can help protect yourself. Below are some of the steps you can take to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of these crimes.

  • Photocopy the IDs and credit cards in your wallet (both sides). Keep the copies, phone numbers for the credit card companies, and your account numbers in a safe place in your home.
  • Do not give your personal information over the phone, via e-mail, or through a website unless you know the person and have initiated the contact.
  • Shred financial documents, including old bank statements, invoices, and pre-approved credit card applications before you throw them away.
  • Never use your mother's maiden name, your birth date, or the last four digits of your Social Security number as a password or PIN.
  • Don't carry your Social Security card, birth certificate, or passwords with you unless necessary.
  • Don't print your driver's license number or Social Security number on your checks.
  • Promptly remove incoming mail from your mailbox, and don't use an unlocked mailbox for outgoing bill payments.
  • If regular bills or statements stop reaching you, take action. Call the company's customer service number. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail.
  • Don't ignore suspicious charges. If suspicious or unauthorized charges appear on your bills or statements, call immediately to resolve the discrepancy.
  • Never preprint your driver's license number or Social Security number on your checks.
  • Periodically check your credit report. Residents of Colorado are entitled to one free credit report per year. Contact the following agencies to obtain your report.


 

  Equifax
 
Experian
 
Trans Union
 
Address
 
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
 
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
 
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
 
Web Address equifax.com
 
experian.com
 
transunion.com
 
Order Credit Report 800-685-1111
 
888-397-3742
 
800-888-4213
 
Report Fraud 800-525-6285 888-397-3743 800-680-7289

 

 

What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen

If you believe you have had your identity stolen, follow these steps to reduce the possible damage and loss. It is extremely important to quickly protect your credit rating and reduce your risk of loss.

  • Immediately contact First National Bank of the Rockies® to close your existing accounts. Open new accounts with new account numbers, ATM cards, and PIN numbers.
  • Cancel all of your credit cards and request that new accounts be established.
  • Report any suspected theft of your information to your local police and request copies of all police reports.
  • Contact the three major reporting agencies by telephone and in writing to request a fraud investigation.
  • Contact the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (Link to section on driver's licenses below) to see if a new license has been requested or issued in your name.
  • Keep copies of everything.


 

Who To Contact If You're A Victim

If your name, account number, or any form of personal identification has been used in a fraudulent scheme or transaction you may wish to contact the appropriate agencies listed below.

First National Bank of the Rockies® Loss Management Department

Report any fraudulent activity on your deposit account, such as lost or stolen checks and other unauthorized transactions found in your account statement. Report stolen First National Bank of the Rockies'® ATM cards, Check Cards, credit cards, or any suspicious or fraudulent use of these accounts. Contact us at 970-878-5073, or toll free 1-877-443-4600.

Credit Bureaus

Request a copy of your credit bureau report and look for unknown inquiries or approved credit. Request a statement be placed in your record that no further credit be approved unless you are contacted directly before approval is granted.

 

  Equifax
 
Experian
 
Trans Union
 
Address
 
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
 
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
 
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
 
Web Address equifax.com
 
experian.com
 
transunion.com
 
Order Credit Report 800-685-1111
 
888-397-3742
 
800-888-4213
 
Report Fraud 800-525-6285 888-397-3743 800-680-7289

 

 

Merchant Check Guarantee Firms Report any bank account set up fraudulently under your name to:
 

Telecheck
 
800-366-2425
 
National Processing
Company
 
800-526-5380 
 
SCAN (Deluxe)
 
800-262-7771
 
CheckRite
 
800-766-2748
 
CrossCheck
 
800-552-1900
 
Market Block List 888-567-8688


 

These agencies will place information in their system about checks that are reported stolen or lost. They will also make note of accounts that were opened for the purpose of true name fraud. This information is then made available to merchants who subscribe to their service.
 

Fraudulent Charges on Your Credit Accounts

Report fraudulent charges on your First National Bank of the Rockies'® credit account or contact the credit card issuers. Review your account activity to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions. If you subscribe to a credit card protection service, contact them to report any fraudulent or unauthorized transactions.

  • For your First National Bank of the Rockies'® ATM Card, Check Card, or loan: 970-878-5073, or toll free 1-877-443-4600.

 

Social Security Services

Report victimization and improper use of your Social Security number to the SSA Hotline at 800-269-0271. The Social Security Hotline enables a victim of identity theft to report misuse of a Social Security number. You may also visit your local Social Security office to obtain further information.


United States Post Office

Report any crime involving stolen mail or use of the mail in furtherance of a fraud scheme to your local post office. You can also file a report with the U.S. Postal Inspector. Complete information on mail fraud is available at www.usps.com/postalinspectors.


Local Police Departments

File a police report with your local department, and keep a copy of the report with your records. Be persistent. Some police departments do not routinely file reports for identity theft. 


Department of Motor Vehicles

If you are a victim of identity theft and/or your Colorado driver's license/ID has been lost or stolen, you may request an alert on your motor vehicle record so further fraud may be deterred. Please be aware that an alert may cause closer scrutiny of anyone - including you - who tries to obtain a license/ID in your name or gives your identification information to law enforcement personnel. The alert applies to motor vehicle records only. The department of revenue does not guarantee that it will prevent fraudulent use of your driver license/ID:

Write a short statement about the situation and include a specific request for the alert, your name, date of birth, driver license/ID number, Social Security number, and your signature.

Deliver or mail the request to:
   Colorado Motor Vehicle Investigations Unit
   1881 Pierce St., Room 136
   Lakewood, CO 80214

You may later request in writing that the ALERT be removed.

If you have evidence that your Colorado driver's license/ID number has been used fraudulently and you have a police report, you may apply for a Colorado driver's license/ID with a new PIN to prevent further fraudulent use. Follow these steps:

  1. Download and complete the Colorado Affidavit of Theft form at www.revenue.state.co.us/mv_dir/formspdf/2153.pdf.
  2. Print the form and have your signature notarized.
  3. Take (do not mail) the Affidavit of Theft form together with your police report to a full service driver's license office, which are listed via this link www.mv.state.co.us/MV_dir/wrap.asp?incl=dlolist or on a telephone recording at 303-205-5613.

 

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