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Review Your Account Statements and Notify Law Enforcement of Suspicious Activity
As a precautionary measure, we recommend that you remain vigilant by reviewing your account statements and credit reports closely. If you detect any unusual or suspicious activity, you should promptly notify the financial institution or company with which the account is maintained. You also should promptly report any fraudulent activity or any suspected incidence of identity theft to proper law enforcement authorities, your state attorney general, and/or the Federal Trade Commission.
Obtain a Copy of Your Credit Report
Consumers are entitled by law to a free credit report from each of the credit reporting bureaus once a year.
The free credit report will show all lines of credit and other obligations, along with other public data. It will not show the FICO score; consumers may contact their financial institution or a credit card issuer to request the FICO score. It usually costs a fee to retrieve a FICO score. It is recommended consumers check their report three times a year by pulling the report for one bureau every four months. Items to watch for are “new” or “re-opened” accounts and other suspicious activity.
Note: Consumers need to beware of other sites that try to sell a credit report or offer a “free” report if you agree to sign up for a subscription service – usually credit monitoring. Also, watch out for look-alike sites that are not real, like “freecreditreport.com”.
Place a Fraud Alert or Security Freeze on Your Credit Report
You may consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report. This fraud alert statement informs creditors of possible fraudulent activity within your report and requests that the creditor contact you prior to establishing any accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert on your credit report, contact any of the three credit reporting agencies identified above. Additional information is available at http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
A Security Freeze protects against identity theft and the opening of fraudulent accounts with a consumer’s personal information. It will block an institution or lender from accessing a report, unless a pre-set PIN is provided to “thaw” the report; a credit report may be thawed at a particular bureau for a period of time or for a specific lender. Consumers must contact each of the bureaus listed below to place a security freeze.
Note: Each of the credit bureaus will give or allow you to create a PIN to be used to thaw or unfreeze your report in the future. It is very important you do not lose or forget this PIN! It is recommended to store it in multiple locations with other important documents, including a safe deposit box or home lockbox, or in a password-protected format electronically.
Go to each of the following sites to place a security freeze and follow the instructions; record and protect the PIN:
Some states charge fees to place a freeze, thaw or unfreeze a credit report; see the sites above for specific state details.
Additional Free Resources on Identity Theft
You may wish to review the tips provided by the Federal Trade Commission on how to avoid identity theft. For more information, please visit http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338). You can also visit the following websites:
New York Department of State Division of Consumer Protection:
New York State Attorney General:
Elmira Savings Bank
333 E. Water St., Elmira, NY 14901
Phone: (607) 734-3374
The Advisor Newsletter
Routing Number: 221370399
Orig NMLS #403589
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