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Identity theft usually comes as a surprise to most victims. You may believe the shops you purchase from online or in-person are safe. Since cyber criminals have multiple ways of collecting personal information, you have to take steps to protect yourself. Safeguard your financial information by following these steps.

Check accounts for suspicious activity

To protect yourself against identity theft, you must stay diligent. Check your financial accounts regularly to spot any suspicious transactions. Review all bank and credit card statements on a regular basis. If you find evidence of identity theft, reach out to your financial institution. You should also reach out to the credit reporting bureau.

Use a credit monitoring service

Consider enrolling in a credit monitoring service. If you are concerned about identity theft, they can help but they cannot guarantee your identity won’t be stolen. A credit monitoring service will alert you if there has been a change to your TransUnion, Equifax, Experian credit reports.

Shred your financial documents

Shredding is a necessary step in protecting your identity. If you receive any type of financial document, you should dispose of it in a shredder when you no longer have a use for it. You can purchase an inexpensive shredder or even collect your documents and take them to a shredding facility. The process doesn’t take much time and it prevents you from dealing with the headache of identity theft.

Reach out to the authorities

If you have been the victim of identity theft, you should file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC will walk you through a three-step process. You will be asked to describe the incident, you will be given a recovery plan and also learn ways to take action. You can report identity theft to the FTS by visiting identitytheft.gov or by calling 1.877.438.4338.

The FTC advises victims to alert the police with the following items:

  • A copy of your FTC identity theft report
  • A government-issued ID
  • Proof of address

FirstBank Southwest is committed to privacy

We are committed to protecting the identity of our customers. We take steps to keep your account information accurate and up to date. If you notice your information is not complete, accurate or current, you can call us at 806.355.9661. We will investigate and correct information as quickly as possible.

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