Identity theft isn't something you dwell on, but you may be more at risk than you think. Sandy Spring Bank uses a combination of safeguards such as employee training, strict privacy policies, and rigorous security standards to protect your information.

Use caution when giving out personal information. Never give your credit card, Social Security, or any other account number over the phone unless you initiate the call and know to whom you're talking. Don't give out personal information over the Internet, either, unless you entered the Web address and are using a secure browser.

Leave important documents (such as your Social Security card) and the majority of your credit cards at home. Be sure to keep copies of what you do carry in your wallet or purse, as well as a list of credit card companies to contact in case any of your cards are stolen. Report lost or stolen checks or credit cards immediately.

Always keep your wallet secure. Don't leave it in an unlocked car or the pocket of a coat you're not wearing.

Guard your mail and trash from theft:

  • Don't mail bills from your mailbox.
  • Keep an eye out for any missing mail.
  • Shred receipts, bank statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
  • Review your monthly bills and statements regularly for any unauthorized charges.
  • Get off mailing lists. Pre-approved credit offers can do a lot of harm. Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three major credit bureaus by calling 1-888-5OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688).

Click here for more tips to protect yourself online. We also have valuable information on protecting yourself from phishing and email scams here.

If you are a victim of identity theft:

1. Contact us at 1-800-399-5919 and press 2 for our Client Service Center immediately if you suspect identity theft or fraud involving any of your Sandy Spring Bank accounts.

2. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) toll-free at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338), visit www.consumer.gov/idtheft and fill out a complaint form, or write to them at:

Identity Theft Clearinghouse Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
You can also download an "ID Theft Affadavit" from the FTC's Web site. This will help you keep debts that you did not incur off of your credit report.

3. Contact the three major credit bureaus and ask for a fraud alert to be placed in your file at each. Then, follow-up with a letter. This will tell those that pull your credit report to be careful before opening or changing accounts in your name.

Here are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself: Check your credit report annually. You can order a credit report online at the three major credit bureaus:


Contact Name

Website

Fraud Line Phone Numbers

Equifax

www.equifax.com

1-800-525-6285

Experian

www.experian.com

1-888-397-3742

TransUnion

www.transunion.com

1-800-680-7289

 

4. Notify your bank, credit issuers and any other financial institutions at which you have accounts. Ask to speak to someone in the security or fraud department of each, and follow-up with a letter.

5. File a police report with your local law enforcement, or with the police in the area where the identity theft occurred. Ask for a copy of the report for future reference.
Other Links:

How Not to Get Hooked

When Bad Things Happen to your Good Name

Information From The National Cyber Security Alliance

Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft

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