There are a number of methods that offenders employ to use your personal information - such as your name, address, phone number, Social Security Number, or bank or credit card account numbers - without your knowledge to personally profit at your expense.

Phishing and Spoofing. Phishing and spoofing enable offenders to obtain personal information via e-mail and the Internet. With phishing and spoofing, an e-mail header is forged to make it appear as if it came from someone other than the actual source. The fraudulent e-mail message may direct you to a Web site that looks just like the legitimate source's Web site, but isn't. In these cases, the e-mail or pop-up messages are used to deceive you into disclosing sensitive personal information so that the offender may use your information to make fraudulent purchases, access your accounts or steal your identity. To learn more we encourage you to read "Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft", a valuable resource (.pdf brochure) on the FDIC Web site,

Identity Theft. Identity theft occurs when your personal information is used by someone else to open new accounts or initiate transactions in your name. Identity theft occurs through a number of ways offline - from stealing wallets and purses, intercepting and rerouting mail or rummaging through garbage. To learn more, visit, the U.S. government's central Web site for information about identity theft, or call the Identity Theft hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT.

Skimming. Skimming, which occurs when your credit or debit card account information is captured in a data storage device, is a practice offenders employ to create counterfeit credit or debit cards from your account information. Your card may be swiped first for an actual purchase, and then swiped again into a small hand-held device called a skimmer, or a skimmer may be attached to an ATM machine or unattended gas pump where you swipe your card or enter your card information.

If You Become a Victim

How can you tell if you've become a victim of fraud?

arrow Unexplained charges or withdrawals from your financial accounts
arrow Failing to receive bills or other account information
arrow Receiving calls from collectors or companies about credit you didn't apply for, or merchandise or services you didn't buy
arrow Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply
arrow Receiving bills from unfamiliar sources
arrow Receiving letters that ask you to confirm address changes that you did not initiate
arrow Denial of credit for no apparent reason


Contact First Bank with additional questions regarding personal information security threats.


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