Seneca Savings says NOW is the time to take some steps to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft.
“People don’t realize how much information is actually out there” says Laurie Ucher, Senior VP of Retail Lending at Seneca Savings. “If the wrong people get ahold of your information, they can use that in so many ways to pose as being you and perhaps even apply for credit or purchase medications in your name. You just don’t know what might happen.”
Ucher says there for a four types of identity theft:
- Biographical Data Theft – name, place of work, country, town or city of residence, relationship status, familial relationships such as children and parents. Sadly…even obituaries.
- Medical Identity Theft – when a thief uses your medical identity to access health care, get a prescription medication or claim insurance benefits. The usage of your medical data can be obtained by thieves from dumpster diving and data breaches.
- Biometric Data – face, eyes, voice and fingerprints recognition.
- Financial Data – information that may be obtained from your credit report such as bank information and open lines of credit.
If you’ve become a victim, some early warning signs can include denials of credit card applications or credit, denials of services (utility, rent, etc..), collection notices for medical bills or other services you didn’t receive, collection calls for debts you don’t owe, and other unusual financial activity.
Preventative actions can be taken and include:
- Check your credit regularly and use credit monitoring services to keep a close eye on your credit (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax).
- Look at your bank accounts every day and utilize monitoring services such as fraud alerts and card valet offered by Seneca Savings.
- Practice online safety – use strong passwords, do not click on links or download files from unknown senders, and do not use public Wi-Fi to receive or send sensitive documents.
Ucher is part of a free webinar on identity theft which Seneca Savings is offering to all. It’s planned for Wednesday, April 28 at 3pm on their Facebook page.
Seneca Savings is a local, community bank with four branches. They’re located in Baldwinsville, Liverpool, North Syracuse and Bridgeport.