Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft is the unauthorized use of someoneís confidential information. It occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Commerce Bank is concerned about identity theft, and strives to minimize the risk to our customers. That is why we confirm the identity of people who contact us before discussing account matters.

 

Prevent Identity Theft

You may learn more about identity theft and how you can protect yourself from being a victim by going to the FTC ID Theft Site or download the FDIC Identity Theft Brochure:

Identity Theft Brochure

 

Here are some tips to protect yourself from this crime:

  • Donít give your Social Security number over the phone unless itís absolutely necessary and you know the identity of the person requesting the information.
  • Donít carry your Social Security number with you, or print it on your checks. 
  • Be wary of giving out other identifying information, such as birthplace and motherís maiden name unless you are sure of the person requesting the information. This information is often used by financial institutions for identification purposes.
  • Lock your mailbox. If that is not possible, empty it as soon as possible after mail delivery.
  • Donít leave letters for pickup in your mailbox. Put them in a secure U.S. Postal Service box or take them to the post office.
  • Check your credit report at the three national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union) at least annually and look for unauthorized activity.
  • Closely review your monthly statements to spot unauthorized activity.
  • Buy a paper shredder and use it to dispose of old financial records (including tax returns), pre-approved credit card offers and any other documents that may contain identifying information.
  • Donít leave behind receipts that have credit or debit card numbers at ATMs, stores or gas pumps.
  • Donít put credit card or personal information on a website unless you know that it is secure.
  • Donít give out credit-card or bank-account numbers over the phone unless you are positive you are speaking with a trusted merchant.

 

If you should fall victim to identity theft, follow these steps as quickly as you can:

  • Contact the three national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union) and ask them to attach a ďfraud alertĒ to your credit file. Each has a website and a toll-free number.
  • Contact all your creditors (by phone and in writing) to inform them of the problem.
  • Contact the local police. They may be able to act under state consumer protection laws.
  • If mail use is suspected, notify your local postmaster.
  • Alert Commerce Bank immediately so we can then watch for any unusual activity or suggest other means of protecting your account.
  • Request to change any Personal Identification Numbers (ďPINsĒ) or passwords used for account access.
  • Contact the credit bureaus below for a copy of your Credit Report:

 

Contact the credit bureaus below for a copy of your Credit Report:

Equifax:

(800) 525-6285 -- to report fraud

(800) 685-1111 -- to order credit report

Experian:

(888) 397-3742 -- to report fraud

(888) 397-3742 -- to order credit report

Trans Union

(800) 680-7289 -- to report fraud

(800) 916-8800 - to order credit report

 

Major Check Verification Companies:

Telecheck Ė (800) 710-9898

Equifax Ė (800) 437-5120

 

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Response Center:

Identity Theft Hotline: (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338)

TDD: (202) 326-2502

By mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse

Federal Trade Commission

600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20580

Online: Click here

 

Social Security Administration (SSA):

By telephone: (800) 269-0271

By mail: SSA Fraud Hotline

PO Box 17768

Baltimore, MD 21235

 

U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS):

Online: Click here

 

Massachusetts Attorney Generalís office:

Contact the Attorney General's Consumer Complaint Information Section at: (617) 727-8400.

 

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the protection of your financial identity, please don't hesitate to call Commerce Bank at (800) 698-2265.