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Safeguard your personal information.
Here's What to Know About Identity Theft
If you have lost your cards or checks, call Bankwell immediately at 877-966-1944 during regular business hours. After hours, call 800-472-3272.
Identity theft, one of the fastest growing crimes in our society, occurs when someone wrongfully steals and uses someone else's personal information (such as name, credit cards, Social Security number, bank account numbers, driver's license) to commit fraud and/or theft.
Identity Theft Information:
- Stealing purses or wallets containing your personal ID, bank and credit card information
- Intercepting your mail, including new checks, tax information and credit card information
- Searching through your trash for personal information in a practice known as "dumpster diving"
- Fraudulently obtaining your credit report by posing as someone of authority
- Discovering personal information in your home
- Purchasing your personal information from sources such as store employees
- Using personal information found online
Bankwell does not contact customers via email to verify or request security information. However, you could receive fraudulent emails from another source, which could include the Bank's name and/or logo, asking for personal information. This is often called "phishing" or "spoofing." The purpose of fraudulent emails is to get you to divulge personal information in order to commit identity theft or to take money from your accounts. These fraudulent emails request the recipient to send personal information, such as Social Security or account numbers back to the sender via email. In other cases they include a web site or a link, which will then request the visitor to enter their private information.
Bankwell highly values its customer relationships and we are committed to ensuring your privacy. You can help protect your private information through theft education, practicing good security habits and reporting any suspicious contacts you receive via email, phone calls or mail.
- Use caution when selecting your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and passwords. Create passwords and PINs that are unpredictable. Remove all PINs and passwords from your purse or wallet.
- Be cautious about revealing account numbers, Social Security or Tax ID numbers and other private information to other people.
- Protect your account numbers, card numbers, PINs and passwords. Keep items that carry your personal information in a secure place, including all credit cards, account numbers, expiration dates and the customer service numbers you would need to contact your creditors in the event your cards are lost or stolen.
- Never release personal data through the mail, by phone or online unless you have initiated the contact. Identity thieves may pose as bank representatives, Internet Service Providers, credit card companies and even government agencies in an effort to find out your Social Security number, account numbers and other personal information.
- Keep your Social Security card in a secure place. Do not carry it with you. Give your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary, and ask to use other identifiers whenever possible.
- Do not print your telephone number, driver's license number or Social Security number on your checks.
- Do not email confidential information to us using your personal email accounts. You may email us using our secure Online Banking.
- When you are making a purchase or conducting a financial transaction online, make sure that the websites you visit are secure and protect your information. Be sure to use a secure browser that encrypts or scrambles purchase information and make sure your browser's key icon or padlock is active.
- Be sure to carefully review your monthly accounts, credit card statements and utility bills for any unauthorized transactions as soon as you receive them. If you suspect unauthorized use, contact the provider's fraud and customer service departments immediately.
- Periodically contact the major credit reporting companies to review and verify your credit information.
- Be wary of any promotional scams. Identity thieves may use phony offers to get your personal information.
If your Bankwell accounts have been compromised and you have been the victim of identity theft, call us toll free at 877-966-1944. In addition, take the following steps:
Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus right away. Ask each agency to immediately place a "fraud alert" on your credit report and have them send you a copy of your credit file.
P. O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
P. O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P. O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634-6790
Contact Your Local Police
In the event of identity theft, it is important that you notify your local police department and file a report. Be sure to request a copy of the report for your records.
Call the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338). The FTC will put your information into a secure consumer fraud database and may, when appropriate, share it with other law enforcement agencies.
If you receive statements for accounts you do not have, contact the creditor. An identity thief may have opened an account in your name. Make sure no one has requested an unauthorized address change, title change, PIN change or ordered new cards or checks to be sent to another address.
Check transactions on all credit account statements including credit cards, home equity lines of credit, bank accounts, investment accounts and telephone bills. Close accounts that have been tampered with and open new ones with new PINs and passwords. If an identity thief has tampered with your savings or checking account or ATM card, close the account immediately. When opening new accounts, avoid using easily available information for a password. Keep an eye on all of your accounts going forward.
You may also want to contact other agencies for other types of identity theft:
- The Social Security Administration if you suspect that your Social Security number is being fraudulently used (call 800-269-0271 to report the fraud).
- The Internal Revenue Service if you suspect the improper use of identification information in connection with tax violations (call 800-829-0433 to report the violations).
- Your local office of the Postal Inspection Service if you suspect that an identity thief has submitted a change of address form with the Post Office to redirect your mail, or has used the mail to commit frauds involving your identity.
Maintain a written record of what happened, what was lost and the steps you took to report the incident to the various agencies, financial institutions and firms impacted. Be sure to record the date, time, contact telephone numbers, person you spoke with and any relevant report or reference number and instructions.
FDIC Consumer Protection Topics
The FDIC provides consumers with useful information to help them make informed decisions about their money and to protect themselves against financial scams and fraud. You’ll find information here on specific banking topics, as well as links to other resources to learn more.
Consumer Protection Topics - Identity Theft
Don’t be an Online Victim: How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams
Safe Internet Banking