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Fraud & Identity Theft

Protecting Yourself from Electronic Fraud

You are probably aware of news reports involving the theft of credit and debit card information.

We want to assure you that your TCB deposit account numbers are not stored on the magnetic strip of debit cards.

To further protect yourself from the possibility of identity theft, we recommend that you place a fraud alert on your credit files. A fraud alert lets creditors know to contact you before opening new accounts. Just call any one of the three credit reporting agencies at a number below. This will let you automatically place fraud alerts with all of the agencies. You will then receive letters from all of them, with instructions on how to get a free copy of your credit report from each.

  • Experian - 888-397-3742
  • Equifax - 800-685-1111
  • TransUnion - 800-916-8800

Upon receiving your credit reports, look them over carefully. Look for accounts you did not open. Look for inquiries from creditors that you did not initiate. In addition, look for personal information, such as home address and Social Security number, that is not accurate. If you see anything you do not understand, call the credit reporting agency at the telephone number on the report. If you do find suspicious activity on your credit reports, call your local police department, and file a police report of identity theft. Get a copy of the police report. You may need to give copies of the police report to creditors to clear up your records.

Even if you do not find any signs of fraud on your reports, we recommend that you check your credit report every three months for two years. We also recommend you keep the fraud alert in place for the next 24 months by calling one of the above numbers every 3 months.

You should review your bank statement(s) promptly and remain vigilant to possible unauthorized use of your account or personal information for the next two years. You should report any unauthorized activity to your bank immediately.

For more information about identity theft, we suggest that you visit the Web site of the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.

Be on the Alert for Phishing and Pharming!

You have probably heard these terms. They refer to criminal activities to steal confidential information, such as social security numbers and account numbers.

Phishing and pharming use many techniques, but they are all based on tricking you into thinking your dealing with a trusted email, web site, and even telephone banking system.

The following practices will help prevent you from becoming a victim of such attacks:

  1. Never open an email from an unknown source.
  2. Never respond to any email that requests any personal information, especially financial data. Many phishing attacks start with bogus emails claiming to be from your financial institution.
  3. Always be sure the web sites you use for financial transactions have the "HTTPS" designation. This means it is a secure site.

In addition, be on the alert for phone phishing. This technique uses email or a bogus website to instruct you to call a phone number about a problem with your account. When dialed, the legitimately sounding system prompts you to enter your account number, password and other information that can then be used in an attempt to access your account.

If you suspect a phishing and/or pharming attempt, you can report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/ or call toll-free 1-877-FTC HELP (1-877-382-4357)