Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as:
- Social Security number
- Credit card number or other identifying information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes
Dumpster Diving: Thieves rummage through trashcans for pieces of personal information that they can use or sell.
Mail Theft: Crooks seek out and steal from unattended/unlocked mailboxes to obtain pre-approved credit offers, bank statements, tax forms, and/or convenience checks.
Imposters: An individual who fraudulently poses as someone who had a legitimate or legal reason to access the victim's personal information (e.g., landlord, an employer, marketer, etc.).
Direct Access to Personal Documents in the Home: Unfortunately, there are identity thieves who can gain legitimate access into someone's home and personal information through household work, babysitting, healthcare, friends or roommates, etc.
Purse/Wallet Theft: Stolen purses and wallets usually contain plenty of bankcards and personal identification. A thief can have a field day using this information to obtain credit under the victim's name or to sell the information to an organized-crime ring.
Phone/E-Mail Phishing: Phishing occurs when customers receive a fraudulent phone call or email request for personal information, often in regards to verifying account numbers, personal identification numbers (PIN), social security numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information.
Online Banking is generally safe, but it is good to be careful when you are online. Below are some types of online fraud.
Spyware/Malware: Cyber-thieves use a software application that can be remotely installed on your computer without you knowing. This special snoopware lets the thief access everything you do online. Be wary of email attachments from strangers and Web sites your are unfamiliar with.
Online Data: Thieves have purchased sensitive personal information about someone (e.g., name, address, phone numbers, Social Security number, birth date, etc.) from an online broker.
Email Fraud and Phishing Scams: Thieves who appear to be trusted financial institutions use phony emails to hook someone into giving them your financial and personal information.
While there is no guarantee against Identity Theft, there are things you can do to reduce the chance of becoming a victim.
1) At Home
Do not give out personal information by telephone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know with whom you're dealing.
When disposing of documents, shred all personal and/or financial information. You may want to purchase a personal shredder.
Be careful about revealing your Social Security Number (SSN) to others. Use other numbers for identification whenever possible.
2) Handling Mail
When sending mail, deposit it in a locked mailbox or at the Post Office. Gather your mail promptly after it has been delivered. If you're planning to be away from home and can't pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service at 800-275-8777 to request to have your mail held or visit their website www.usps.com.
Inspect your monthly/periodic account statements and credit card bills. Immediately report anything that looks suspicious. Consider turning off your paper bank statements and receiving online statements
3) Internet Safety
Do not give out personal information over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know with whom you're dealing. Don't post pictures online. Report suspicious and inappropriate things.
4) ATM Safety Tips
ATMs are great for withdrawing cash, checking your balance or transferring funds. But you should take extra steps to protect your safety while at an ATM.
Before you go to an ATM: Put your ATM card in your pocket or hand so you don't have to hunt for it in your purse or backpack. Take another person with you whenever possible. Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN) - don't write it down, and don't share it with anyone.
Choosing an ATM: Use an ATM that is located in an open space with bright lights. Be alert. If anything makes you uncomfortable, leave.
At the ATM: Focus on what you're doing. Don't use a cell phone or do anything else that diverts your attention. Stand directly in front of the machine, so that people nearby can't see what you're doing. If you're in the car, make sure your windows are up and your doors are locked. Take all receipts and transaction records with you. If the machine retains your card, notify your local branch as soon as possible.
Debit Card and Credit Card Security
Debit Card Security
Your Town & Country Bank Debit Card has security features built right in giving you peace of mind!
- Your card can be cancelled immediately if it's ever lost or stolen by calling 1-800-264-5578.
- Fraud monitoring measures are automatically build into your card and expertly managed by ELAN Financial Services.
- All Town & Country Bank debit cards issued are protected by FraudWatch® PLUS, a program that provides industry-leading technology, tools and proven expertise to manage fraud. Experienced analysts work around the clock watching for any suspicious card activity. If potential fraud is detected on your card, a fraud analyst will attempt to contact you immediately to verify the authenticity of the transaction.
- If you have special needs, such as travel, please alert us and we will add a note to your account.
- We offer additional online protection for our Town & Country debit cards. To register for MasterCard® SecureCode™ visit us at https://secure4.arcot.com/vpas/elan_3137/enroll/index.jsp.
Credit Card SecurityYour Town & Country Credit Card security features are working for you 24 hours a day!
- ANYTIME CARDMEMBER SERVICE - available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year at:
- Consumer: 1-800-558-3424
- Business: 1-866-552-8855
- Zero Fraud Liability.(2) Cardmember is not liable for fraudulent purchases when card is lost or stolen.1
- Verified by Visa: Protects a cardmember's Visa card with a personal password while shopping online with participating merchants. for Verified by Visa, or view * additional details about Verified by Visa - it's fast, easy and totally secure.
- Fraud Protection: Detects and notifies you of any unusual card activity to help prevent fraud.
- Account Truncation: Ensures your privacy by displaying only the last four digits of your account number and omitting the expiration date from your receipts.
1Zero fraud liability for unauthorized transactions. Cardholder must notify CARDMEMBER SERVICE promptly of any unauthorized use. Certain conditions and limitations may apply.
Card Security Tips
If you have requested a card and have not received the card in a timely manner, immediately notify Town & Country Bank Closely monitor the expiration dates on your cards. Contact the issuer if the replacement card is not received prior to the expiration date on your card. Sign all new cards upon receipt.
When using a password, avoid using the standard mother's maiden name, birth date, and the last four digits of your Social Security or phone number. Change your passwords often.
If you have a Personal Identification Number (PIN), keep your card and PIN separate at all times and never share your PIN with anyone.
Take advantage of online statements and cancel all inactive credit card accounts. Even though you do not use them, those accounts appear on your credit report, which can be used by thieves.
For the most up-to-date account activity, check your accounts online.
Carefully review your accounts regularly in order to quickly identify fraudulent transactions.
Order your credit reports for free. In order to get a complete view of your reports, order a report every four months from a different agency.
Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request a free credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
To Report Fraud: 800-685-1111
For Credit Reports: 800-525-6285
To Report Fraud: 888-397-3742
To Report Fraud: 800-680-7289
For Credit Reports: 800-916-8800
What if I am a Victim of Identity Theft?
Contact one of the three credit bureaus if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft. The one you contact will notify the other two and fraud alerts will be placed on your files.
Credit Bureau Contact Details:
Call the financial institution where the fraud occurred. Open new accounts and have affected accounts closed. Have new PINs and passwords issued. Consider contacting other financial institutions where you have accounts.
You can report identity theft by calling 877-438-4338 or visit the FTC website at: www.consumer.gov/idtheft. There you will find an Identity Theft affidavit, which will aid in recovering losses due to identity theft and assist in the investigation.
Write down everyone you contacted. Record the name, title, and phone number of each person you spoke to. Also note the substance of what was discussed and any report, case, or reference numbers. Keep copies of any reports or affidavits you send and any letters or information you receive.
Ask for a copy of the report, or at the very least record the date, time, and number of the report, the location of the department and the name of the officer taking the report.
Town & Country Bank now offers its customers the ability to send a secure email to the bank. It is the best way to communicate with us and the ONLY way to be sure your confidential information (account numbers, tax ID numbers and financial statements) is delivered safely. We at Town & Country Bank feel it's our responsibility to protect the sensitive business information we share together.
By itself, Internet email is an insecure communications channel. Messages sent via standard Internet email travel in "plain text" and cross many networks before reaching their final destination. As a result, an opportunity exists for prying eyes to eavesdrop on email messages as they traverse these various networks. Since confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, standard Internet email should not be used to exchange sensitive or private information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, financial statements, etc.
When the Bank sends you a secure email message, the message is sent to a secure data center where it will be held for you to retrieve. At the same time, a notification message is sent to you to inform you that a SecureMail message is waiting to be retrieved. The notification message will contain a link to a secure web site. Simply click on the link, log into the secure web site, and retrieve your message.
The first time you access SecureMail, you will be prompted to create an account. Supply your email address and password to establish your account. You will use this password each time you log into SecureMail. A confirmation message will be sent to the email address you entered. You will need to click the link in the confirmation email to complete the account set up process. You can now begin using your SecureMail account.
When Town & Country Bank sends you a secure email message, you will receive a notification message via standard Internet email. Click the link contained in the notification message to be taken to the login screen where you will be prompted to enter your email address and password that you established. Once logged in, you can read your SecureMail, download it to your computer, or send a secure reply message.
To send a SecureMail message to the Bank, click on any SecureMail link on the Bank's web site. You will be taken to the login screen where you will be prompted to enter your email address and password that you established. Once logged in, you can create a new SecureMail message by clicking on the "Compose" tab.
With security issues at the forefront, Town & Country Bank has implemented ZixCorp secure email solutions to protect our email communications, ensuring all personally identifiable financial information remains confidential.
For both our employees and our e-messaging partners, ZixCorp makes secure communications easy. ZixCorp's services allow us to send encrypted email messages to anyone, whether they are ZixCorp customers or not.
Secure messaging ensures against card fraud and consumer identity theft. It's also an effective way to conduct financial business. To protect consumer data and comply with improved best practice standards, all email communication you receive from us containing personally identifiable financial information will take advantage of ZixCorp encryption services. Town & Country Bank prides itself in its customer service and believes this new feature will provide both safety and convenience to our customers.