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Detecting Fraud


The best detector of fraud and identity theft is you.  Through proactive monitoring, you can look for unusual activities and act fast before there's much damage.

Monitor Your Accounts Regularly

Why it's important to review activity

We recommend frequently reviewing your account activity online.  (Learn more about monitoring you accounts through Online Banking by speaking with a representative at your local branch.)

Here are some benefits to consider:

  • Over 50% of all identity fraud is first discovered by the victim
  • The sooner fraud is detected, the lower the financial impact
  • Customer who access their accounts online detect fraud and identity crime earlier than those who rely on mailed statements
  • Customers who set up email alerts receive timely notification about important activity on their accounts, which can help identify fraud quickly
  • Customers who choose to receive electronic statements instead of mailed statements also reduce their risk of mail fraud

Recognize Fraud and Identity Theft

What you should look for

It's important to learn how to recognize suspicious activities that may indicate possible fraud or identity theft.

Fraud is an act that occurs when someone uses your account to make unauthorized purchases, usually when the account number or card has been stolen.  The following may be signs of fraud:

  • If you did not receive an expected bill or statement by mail
  • If unexpected charges occurred on your account
  • If there are charges on your account from unrecognized vendors
  • If posted checks appear on your account significantly out of sequence

On the other hand, identity theft happens when a thief steals information such as your name, birth date or Social Security number to open credit cards, mortgages and other accounts without your knowledge.

The following may be signs of identity theft:

  • If you find new accounts on your credit report that are not yours
  • If you receive credit cards that you didn't apply for
  • If you are denied credit or are offered less than favorable credit terms for no reason
  • If you get calls from creditors or debt collectors regarding merchandise or services that you did not buy

Check Your Credit Report Annually

How to request a report

By monitoring your credit report, you can make sure that no one else has applied and been approved for loans in your name using stolen information.

Nationwide consumer reporting companies will provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months by visiting or by calling 1-877-322-8228.

You can also get an explanation of your rights from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency.