Protecting Your Identity
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states that identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as name, social security number or debit/credit card number, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
Tips on protecting yourself
- Don't release your financial information such as checking account and credit card numbers, or your Social Security number, to anyone over the phone or email, unless you know the person or organization you're dealing with. Don't even release that information to someone claiming to be from your bank.
- Report lost or stolen check immediately. Review new deliveries of checks to make sure none have been stolen in transit.
- Notify your bank of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to "verify a statement" or "award a prize."
- Shred financial solicitations or financial statements before disposing of them.
- Deposit your mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box. Thieves may use your outgoing mail to steal your identity.
- If regular mail fails to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change of address notice to divert your mail to his or her address.
- If your bills include questionable item, investigate immediately. This is often the first sign of identity theft fraud.
- Contact major credit reporting companies to review your file and make certain the information is correct. For a small fee, you can obtain a copy of your credit report at any time.
IMPORTANT! We will never contact you and ask for personal banking details such as account numbers, log in details, Social Security Number, and PIN. Never disclose your personal banking details or any other personal information in response to an email, phone call or text message.
What EBSB is doing to prevent Identity Theft
Substantial measures are in place at EBSB to protect your identity against theft and fraud.
- Privacy Policies - We maintain rigorous information security programs and privacy policies to protect your personal and financial information. These policies are stringent and enforced, with employee training provided regularly. We treat your confidential information with the utmost care - whether online or in-person.
- Internet Protection - Before using any of our online services, you will select, or be assigned, your own personal password. It is important that you protect this information. Do not leave it in a place where it may be easily found, such as in a wallet or under a keyboard.
- Encrypted Security - Whenever you are online with EBSB, your transactions and personal information are secured by powerful encryption software that converts the information into a secure code.
If you are victimized
If you suspect identity theft or fraud involving any of your East Boston Savings Banks accounts, including your ATM or debit card, please notify us immediately. Call 1-800-657-3272
or visit your nearest branch
File a report with your local police and/or the police in the community where the crime occurred. You should keep a copy of this report in case the bank(s) or creditor(s) needs proof of the crime.
Notify any one of the three credit bureau's fraud units. A single call to any of the three bureaus can result in a "security alert" being placed at all of the bureaus and a free credit report from each organization.
Report to the Credit Bureaus that you believe you are an identity theft victim, and request that a "fraud alert" be placed in your file, as well as a victim's statement asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts or changing your existing accounts. This can help to prevent an identity thief from opening additional accounts in your name.
Request copies of your credit reports
Credit bureaus must give you a free copy of the report if your report is inaccurate because of fraud. Massachusetts' residents may obtain a complimentary copy of their credit reports annually. Be sure to order one annually.
Follow-up in writing-The Fair Credit Billing Act requires written communication to resolve errors on credit billing statements, including charges that you have not made. Send your letter by certified mail, and request a return receipt to document what the credit bureau received and when.
For any accounts that have been fraudulently accessed or opened, contact the security/fraud department of the appropriate creditor(s) or bank. Close these accounts. Put passwords (not your mother's maiden name or social security number) on any new accounts you open.
Contact the ID theft Clearinghouse (Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Response Center) to report the theft.
Counselors will take your complaint and advise you on how to deal with the credit-related problems that could result from ID theft.
FTC's Identity Theft Hotline: 1 (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338)
TDD: 1 (202) 326-2502
Identity Theft Clearinghouse:
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW, Washington, DC 20580
Website: Federal trade Commission Identity Theft
Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) if appropriate to your situation
Any direct allegations that an SSN has been stolen or misused, should be reported to the SSA
By phone: 1-800-269-0271
SSA Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235
- Contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service The USPIS is one of the federal law enforcement agencies that investigate cases of identity theft. USPIS is the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service. USPIS has primary jurisdiction in all matters infringing on the integrity of the U.S. mail. You can locate the USPIS district office nearest you by calling your local post office.
Contact your State Attorney General's Office
Many states and local governments have passed laws related to identity theft; Massachusetts has such laws. In Massachusetts, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Complaint Information Section at 617-727-8400.
To remove your name from many national direct mail lists write to:
DMA Mail Preference Service
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
To avoid unwanted telephone calls from many national marketers, send your name, address, and telephone number to:
DMA Telephone Preference Service
P.O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014
For more information visit:
Other useful websites
National Do Not Call List
Federal Trade Commission