How to Monitor Your Accounts & Information
Being vigilant is one of the best protections against harmful scams and identity theft. Read our tips below for ways—both manual and automated—to keep an eye on your personal and financial information so you’ll know if anything out of the ordinary happens.
- Accounts (checking, savings, credit card, mortgage, etc.) that you didn't open and charges that you don’t remember.
- Fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit reports, including accounts and personal information, like your Social Security number, address, name or initials, and employers.
- Failing to receive bills or other mail. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has changed your billing address.
- Receiving credit cards that you didn't apply for.
- Being denied credit, or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason.
- Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn't buy.
If you check your credit report regularly, you may be able to spot identity theft and limit any harm. Credit reports contain information about you, including what accounts you have and how you pay your bills. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, fraudulent accounts are likely to show up. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts on your accounts that you can't explain. Check that information like your Social Security number, address, name or initials, and employers are correct.
You can request a copy of your credit report at no cost to you once each year by visiting the government-approved website AnnualCreditReport.com. At this site you can receive your one free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Since you have three reports available to you each year, mark your calendar to request one report every four months.
To order your free copies:
- Visit: www.annualcreditreport.com
- Call: toll-free (877) 322-8228
- Mail: complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form from ftc.gov/credit and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If you want to buy a copy of your report, contact each company directly:
For more information about identity theft, read our booklet on Rebuilding Your Identity.
The Department of Justice recommends following three simple rules when you receive requests for money or information: Stop, Look, and Call.
- Stop: Pause before reacting to upsetting or exciting (but false) statements in fraudulent emails. Scammers want people to react immediately to that false information by clicking on the link and inputting the requested data before they take time to think through what they are doing.
- Look: Look closely at the claims made in the correspondence or call, think about whether those claims make sense and be highly suspicious if the communication asks for items of your personal information such as account numbers, usernames, or passwords. For example:
- If the email, letter, or text indicates that it’s coming from a bank or other financial institution but tells you that you have to enter your account information, stop and look into it more closely. Legitimate banks and financial institutions already have their customers' account numbers in their records.
- If the correspondence or phone call email says that you have won a prize or are entitled to receive some special "deal," but asks for financial or personal data, there is good reason to be highly suspicious. Legitimate companies that want to give you a real prize don’t ask you for extensive amounts of personal and financial information before you're entitled to receive it.
- Call: If the correspondence claims to be from a legitimate company or financial institution, do not call the number provided within the communication. Stop and find a trusted phone number for the company. For a financial institution that you are utilizing, this phone number can be found on a statement or the back of you debit/credit card. You can also initiate contact with your local branch.
No matter the type of scam, you can help protect yourself by keeping these additional tips in mind:
- Never conduct business with anyone online or over the phone unless you can confirm their identity, by re-contacting them using a phone number or email address you locate independently.
- The caller may claim to work for a company you trust. They could know personal information about you to better impersonate a representative from that company. Even the Caller ID on your phone is not proof that the call is coming from a legitimate business.
- If anyone asks you for money or personal data, do the safe thing: say no and hang up.
- Start reporting scams you encounter to the Federal Trade Commission. You can file a report online at the FTC website (include link) or by calling (877) FTC-HELP.
Remember: Huntington will never ask you for account numbers or passwords by phone, email or text. Do not respond to any email that asks you to update your personal information online or by dialing a telephone number.
- Visit the FBI’s webpage on common fraud schemes, which details new or emerging criminal activity.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also provides information related to computer security and common scams.
If you have more questions, please contact us
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