Did you know?
Identity theft occurs every 4 seconds, and 33% of Americans become victims.
2023 ID Theft Crime Statistics and Sentencing - identitytheft.org
Did you know?
Combined, over 100,000 identity theft and personal data breaches occur every year.
FBI, Internet Crime Report, 2021
Did you know?
The average age of an identity fraud victim is 30-39 years old.
FTC, Consumer Sentinel Network, 2020

FRAUD PREVENTION & IDENTITY PROTECTION

Southern Bank is committed to keeping your accounts and information secure. We are aware that fraud and identity theft can wreak havoc on your finances and your credit history. Below are resources that provide steps you can take to prevent and protect yourself from identity theft. To the right is information about current and recent scams to be aware of. If you have received a phone call or email that you suspect may be fraudulent, contact us immediately.

How To Protect Your Identity From Theft

Identity theft can wreak havoc on your finances and your credit history. Generally, the criminal will illegally apply for credit in another person’s name and run up large bills — leaving the victim with the hassle of sorting out the confusion with creditors.

If you suspect that your personal information is being misused, act quickly. Here are some steps you should take:

Contact Southern Bank, any other banks, and your credit card issuers immediately. They can review your accounts for fraudulent activity, and if necessary, stop payments on checks, change personal identification numbers and passwords, and open new accounts.

Check your accounts to see if anyone has changed your address, altered your PIN, or requested new checks or cards.

Report any fraudulent activity on your Southern Bank accounts and any unauthorized transactions to your local branch.

Report any fraudulent charges on your Southern Bank credit account at 1-800-441-7461, or contact the issuers of any other cards.

File a report with your local police department. The report will be helpful in explaining to creditors that you are a victim of identity theft.

Contact the fraud departments of each of the major credit bureaus:

Credit BureausAddressOrder Credit ReportReport Fraud
EquifaxEquifax Credit
Information Services, Inc
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
1-800-685-11111-888-766-0008
1-800-525-6285
ExperianExperian
PO Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
1-888-397-37421-888-397-3742
TransUnionTransUnion LLC
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
1-877-322-82281-800-680-7289

How You Can Help Protect Your Privacy

At Southern Bank, we want to help you ensure that your private information remains private, not only at the bank but also in all of your transactions.
Confidential information is that which is not publicly available or easily accessible by the public. This information is not limited to just your social security number, driver’s license number or mother’s maiden name. Other types of confidential data include the names of previous employers, previous living addresses and memberships in organizations. In general, you should think twice before giving out this type of information.

There are a number of things you can do to keep your personal data from falling into the wrong hands:

  • Protect your Social Security Number and personal identification numbers (PINs). Never give this information over the phone or the internet.
  • Tear up or shred bank receipts, credit card offers, statements and other sensitive documents.
  • Watch out for missing incoming mail and don’t mail important information from your home mailbox. Take it to the post office instead.
  • Review your credit report annually for incorrect information. You are eligible for one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus, annually.
  • Use only secure sites on the internet. A lock icon in the Security Status bar typically indicates a secure connection.

 

Businesses should also take steps to ensure key information is secure, not only for their customers, but for their employees as well:

  • Divide financial responsibilities among employees and regularly review account activity.
  • Keep all personal information, check supplies and deposit slips in a locked file or secure location.
  • Do not leave confidential information on cell phones, e-mail, pagers or voice mail.
  • Use secure methods of disposing of personal information, such as using shredders.
  • Upgrade computer systems regularly to ensure personal and confidential information is secure.
  • Instruct staff on security procedures; adopt a written privacy/protection policy.

Protecting Your Electronic Information

  • When performing internet transactions that involve the use of personal information, first read the site’s privacy statements. If no privacy statements are readily available, don’t provide any personal information to the site.
  • When making internet purchases, make sure the site is using a secure server to encrypt the transaction and that you are using a secure browser. On a Windows PC, a secure server will be shown by a small lock icon in the bottom of your browser window. The URL of a secure page should begin with “https” instead of “http.”
  • Never send your password, credit card number, secret word, or PIN in an email. And never send an email reply to an email solicitation for personal information. No reputable business will ask you to send confidential information over the Internet via email.
  • Use caution when you receive an email that directs you to a webpage asking for personal information. It may look like it’s legitimate, but the website may be designed to steal your personal information. Also, the link may show one web address but direct you to another. Always type the Web address directly into the address bar rather than clicking a link.
  • When on the internet, if you get an email or a pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on the link in the message. Beware of disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information. These pop-up messages or other unsolicited emails may be an attempt to capture your personal data. In turn, this information may be used to commit fraud, including identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission offers several precautions you can take to prevent this high-tech scam known as “phishing” at consumer.ftc.gov/.

For additional advice on how to protect yourself from phishing, visit The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – U.S. Department of the Treasury at https://www.occ.gov/fraud-resources/phishing-attack-prevention.html.

  • Contact Southern Bank and/or your credit card company immediately if you think you have submitted sensitive information in response to a fraudulent email or website.
  • When upgrading your personal computer for a new one, be cautious as to what happens to the old systems. Have your hard drive erased completely, even if you are throwing it away or donating it to charity. Use free or purchased software to clean the hard drive so no one can retrieve previous information. Just deleting a file or running the “fdisk” command is not good enough.
  • When using a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), password protect access to the device. Keep as little confidential information on your PDA as possible. In the event it is lost or stolen, you will not be at risk of the information getting into the wrong hands.
  • Make sure your computer is password protected, especially a laptop. In many cases, the theft of a laptop is not just for the physical device but also for the confidential data inside.
  • Think twice before entering confidential information (such as making internet purchases or storing a resume) on a public personal computer at a public library or copy center. Even after you have deleted a file or shut down the browser application, someone could still follow behind you and gain access to the information on the PC’s hard drive.

Other Resources for Protecting Your Privacy

Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a wealth of information on preventing ID theft. If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you can file a complaint with the FTC. Call the toll-free number or visit the website listed below for more information.

Identity Theft Clearinghouse
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
FTC Identity Theft Hotline:
1-877-IDTHEFT
(1-877-438-4338)
Federal government’s central
site on identity theft:
www.consumer.gov/idtheft

The FTC has a comprehensive booklet on minimizing ID theft entitled “ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen To Your Good Name.” This online document has a wealth of information and links about maintaining privacy and avoiding identity theft. You can also download a PDF version at this same site.

Social Security Services
If you believe someone is using your Social Security number, report it to the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. You can also visit your local Social Security office or the agency’s Web site.

United States Postal Service
If someone has taken your identity by stealing your mail, report it to your local postal inspector. Contact your local post office or check the Postal Service website.

Department of Motor Vehicles
If your driver’s license is missing, contact your local department of motor vehicles.

NCDOT
Division Of Motor Vehicles
3101 Mail Service Center
1515 N.Church Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
NCDMV’s Customer Service Office
919-715-7000
North Carolina DMV



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