Infinity Bank also wants to help you protect yourself from identity theft and other crimes targeting consumers. The following information is provided to help you protect yourself from becoming a victim. In addition, we have provided some action items for repairing your good name if you become a victim of identity theft.
It is more important than ever in today’s climate for you to be aware of methods you can utilize to prevent having your personal information compromised.
A first and significant step is to safeguard your accounts from unauthorized access by establishing a strong password.
Here are some suggestions for creating safer passwords:
- Create passwords that contain a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters (@, #, &, %) if allowed.
- Ensure that your passwords are at least eight characters. The longer the better.
- Consider a passphrase; a combination of words separated by special characters. These are easier to remember, yet more resistant to being compromised.
- Account number
- Address or phone number
- Birth date or anniversary date
- Common words from the dictionary
- Social Security number
- Do not share your password with anyone
- Use a unique password for each website
- Change your password at least twice a year
It is difficult to be 100% protected as a consumer, but the following tips are provided to help you significantly reduce the likelihood of having your information compromised.
- Memorize your Social Security number and passwords for websites and your accounts.
- Never give out your ATM, debit card, or credit card PIN (Personal Identification Number).
- Never write your PIN or password on your ATM or debit/credit cards.
- Never give your Social Security number, checking account or credit card information to callers performing unsolicited sales calls.
- Never carry your Social Security card or birth certificate with you. Leave them in a secure location.
- Never leave your checkbook in your vehicle.
- Make a photocopy of the contents of your wallet: include both sides of your driver’s license and ATM, debit card, and credit cards.
- Sign new credit cards immediately after activation.
- Call the financial institution immediately if you applied for a credit card and do not receive your card when expected.
- Closely monitor the expiration dates on ATM, debit card, and credit cards and contact the issuer if you do not receive a replacement prior to the expiration date.
- Report lost or stolen checks, ATM, debit card, and credit cards immediately.
- Watch for your monthly statements and bills. If you do not get them when expected, contact the sender of the statements or bills.
- Review all bank statements and report any inaccuracies or unauthorized charges immediately.
- Match your credit card receipts against your monthly statement for accuracy. Report any inaccuracies or unauthorized charges immediately.
- Protect your ATM, debit card and credit card receipts. Never leave receipts at ATM machines, on counters at financial institutions or at the gas pump.
- Mail bills from US Postal mail drop boxes. Do not mail bills from your home mailbox.
- Beware of mail or telephone solicitations that offer prizes or awards. Especially if they ask you for personal information or financial account numbers.
- Do not reply to or click on a link in an email that threatens to close one of your accounts with little notice or no prior legitimate expectation. Instead, contact the company cited in the email by using a phone number on a billing statement that you are sure is genuine.
- Look for the “locked padlock” icon on your browser’s status bar or look for https:// at the beginning of a website address before submitting any personal or financial information online. Note, having these two features does not guarantee that the website is legitimate, this simply indicates that the website is a secure site.
What is Identity Theft? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information (such as your name, social security number, credit card number or other identifying information) without your permission.
Identity thieves use various methods to obtain your personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. Unfortunately, with the wider use of the internet, it has become increasingly easier for them to trick consumers into divulging their personal information.
If you suspect Identity Theft:
If you suspect that your personal information has been compromised, consider filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
- Call the FTC hotline at (877) ID THEFT or (877) 438-4338 to speak with a trained identity theft counselor, OR
- Submit a complaint to the FTC on their website ftccomplaintassistant.gov
If you suspect that your personal information, such as your Social Security number, has been compromised, contact the credit bureaus immediately and place a free 90-day Fraud Alert on your profile. A temporary Fraud Alert provides an extra level of security should anyone try to open an account using your personal information.
If you suspect a new account has been opened without your authorization, contact the credit bureaus immediately and place a free 90-day Fraud Alert on your profile. The credit bureaus are required to respond to your request for a Fraud Alert. Once a dispute has been resolved, the credit bureaus will send you an updated copy of your credit report. Review the report to make sure that all fraudulent activity has stopped and your file has been corrected.
For more information about the steps to take and for credit reports, contact:
- Equifax: (800) 525-6285 or equifax.com
- Experian: (888) 397-3742 or experian.com
- Transunion: (800) 680-7289 or transunion.com
What to do if you become a victim of Identity Theft:
You may find yourself in one or both Identity Theft situations:
- a criminal used your existing account(s), such as your checking account.
- a criminal opened new account(s) using your identity.
Call the companies where you know that fraud occurred. Explain that someone stole your identity and ask them to close or freeze the accounts so that no additional charges incur. Change login, passwords and PINS for all accounts.
Contact the fraud departments of the three credit bureaus and place a free 90-day Fraud Alert on your profile and a victim’s statement asking creditors to call you before opening new accounts or changing existing accounts. Obtain a credit report from each credit bureau and review them for any additional fraudulent activity. You are entitled to one free credit report in a two-year period.
Report the criminal activity to the Federal Trade Commission by completing the online form at identitytheft.gov or speak with a trained identity theft counselor at (FTC) at (877) ID THEFT or (877) 438-4338.
Go to your local police department with:
- a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Report
- a government-issued ID with a photo
- proof of your address (mortgage statement, rental agreement, or utility bill)
- any other proof you have of the theft (bills, IRS notices, etc.)
Keep detailed records of all actions taken by you regarding your case. Document the date, time and full name of everyone you speak to or contact concerning your case. These records will be very important as you attempt to clear your name.
What to do if you believe your Infinity Bank account has been compromised:
Infinity Bank does not contact customers to request or verify security information about login ID codes, passwords, PIN’s or other security measures in place to protect your account. However, when you contact Infinity Bank, our employees may ask for specific information to verify your identity to ensure your privacy and protection. If you feel your Infinity Bank account has been compromised, contact us at (657) 223-1000 and ask to speak to a member of Infinity Bank’s Client Services Department.
It is our goal to keep our clients informed and educated in taking the right precautions to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and account fraud. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Client Services Department at (657) 223-1000, Monday thru Friday 9:00 am until 5:00 pm Pacific Time.
For more information on Identity Theft and other types of account fraud, please visit the following websites:
- Annual Credit Report Website: annualcreditreport.com
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): ftc.gov
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): fdic.gov
- Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force: stopfraud.gov
- U.S. Postal Service: postalinspectors.uspis.gov
Elder abuse is one of the most disturbing and rapidly growing areas of crime in our society. Abuse comes in many forms: physical, emotional and financial exploitation. The elderly are especially vulnerable to financial abuse that can be devastating, leaving them without the finances to provide for their needs. Under federal and state law, residents of skilled nursing facilities are guaranteed certain rights and protections.
Examples of financial elder abuse include embezzlement of money or any other property, telemarketing fraud, identity theft, predatory lending and home improvement and estate planning scams.
We should all be doing our part to ensure that the elderly are given the opportunity to live with security and dignity, whether they live independently, with family, in an assisted-living setting or a long-term care facility.
For more information visit the California Department of Aging visit: aging.ca.gov
You can review the Citizen’s Guide to Preventing and Reporting Elder Abuse here.