Today, just being an integrated member of society means having your information in the public domain. You can't prevent a data breach, but here are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Enroll in a credit monitoring service.
Consider signing up for a free credit monitoring service. Credit monitoring may be the first signal that someone has stolen your identity. Many services are available for FREE to monitor your credit.
Monitor your credit reports.
You can order a free copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit bureaus once per year.
Monitor your bank accounts.
We encourage you to monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Use online and mobile banking to keep a close eye on your accounts.
Review your Social Security Administration earnings info.
You can create an account, securely login, and check your Social Security earnings and benefits information. At least once a year you should review that information and look for address changes, unfamiliar employers or anything else that doesn't add up. Check for fraud by calling 1-800-772-1213 or vising www.ssa.gov.
Consider placing a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit.
Fraud Alerts - Fraud alert messages notify potential credit grantors to verify your identification before extending credit in your name in case someone is using your information without your consent. When you request a fraud alert be added with any of the three major credit reporting companies, the company you contacted will notify the other two and alerts will be added with those agencies as well. The alert will remain for 90 days.
Security Freezes - A security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent but may also delay, interfere with or prohibit the timely approval of any requests or applications for credit. The cost to freeze your credit varies from $3 to $10 (per freeze) and there may be an additional charge for "unfreezing" or "re-freezing" your credit.
Before deciding to place a credit freeze on your accounts, consider your personal situation. If you might be applying for credit soon or think you might need quick credit in an emergency, it might be better to simply place a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit bureaus.
How do I contact the three major credit bureaus to place a freeze on my files?
Experian: Call 888-397-3742 or visit its website.
TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or visit its website.
I have experienced fraud, what do I do?
If you have experienced fraud, call us at 308-537-7181. We'll put you in touch with our partner, CyberScout where you'll be connected with a fraud specialist. This is a FREE service you receive as an account holder at Flatwater Bank. Your specialist will help determine your best course of action, cut through the red tape, and do the heavy lifting.