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Security Center

Tips for preventing ID theft

Don't be fearful. Be informed.

Identity theft is a crime and its effects are real. Victims can spend countless hours, days and months untangling legal and financial problems. Ultimately there are no guarantees it won't happen to you. But you can greatly decrease the odds by taking some proactive steps.

Keep personal information secure.

  • Don't keep Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) with your checkbook, ATM card or check card.
  • Shred documents containing personal or financial information before throwing them away.
  • Do not give out personal information over the phone, Internet or by mail unless you initiated contact with the company.
  • Keep track of when bills arrive each month and review them promptly for unexplained activity.
  • Limit the use of paper statements. A paperless environment reduces the risk of ID theft. Take advantage of free eStatements and eNotices offered through Old National Online Banking.
  • Don't mail outgoing bill payments and checks from home. Mail them from the post office or another secure location, or use Old National Online Bill Pay.

Shop safely.

  • When signing a credit or check card slip, avoid adding your address or telephone number.
  • Dispose of receipts at home, as identity thieves are known to go through dumpsters at stores.
  • While most receipts only show the last four digits of your card number, some may still display the full number.

Guard your financial information.

  • Report lost or stolen checks, debit and credit cards immediately. Store new and cancelled checks safely. Cancel and cut up unused credit cards.
  • Review account statements carefully. If you sign up for Old National Online Banking, you can monitor your account frequently and at any time.
  • Ask about any suspicious charges or transactions. Don't hesitate to contact Old National or the appropriate credit card issuer if you see something questionable.
  • Don't have personal information such as your driver's license number or Social Security number printed on your checks.

Monitor your credit and credit report.

  • Regularly review your credit report for suspicious inquiries, unexplained accounts, incorrect balances and typos.You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each major consumer reporting agency – Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax – under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. To order your free reports, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228.
  • Ask the credit reporting agencies for fraud alert protection so you can confirm all requests for new accounts opened in your name.
  • Don't carry credit cards you don't need with you.
  • Limit the credit offers you receive by contacting the National Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies at 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688.)

Speak to companies and government agencies.

  • Request to have as little information as possible printed on cards issued by banks, credit card companies, motor vehicle departments, utilities and insurance and phone providers.
  • Ask companies and organizations about their privacy policies.
  • Be aware that by asking, you often have many avenues of information sharing blocked.

Be password wise.

  • Choose passwords and PINs that are hard to guess by mixing numbers, letters and symbols.
  • Avoid using your Social Security number, your mother's maiden name, birth dates, your kids' names or sports teams.
  • Change passwords regularly – we recommend every 45 days.

Be stingy with your Social Security number.

  • Don't carry your Social Security card or number.
  • Avoid printing it on checks.
  • Make sure it is not printed on your driver's license, unless your state requires it.
  • Remember the only places you must use your Social Security number are government applications and financial forms, such as tax forms and credit applications.

Ask for your employer's help.

  • Identity thieves are increasingly hitting groups of people and workplaces, so ask your employer to guard your files closely.
  • Know who is cleared to have access to your records.

Be alert to phone and email scams.

  • Unless you initiated the contact, do not give out personal information over the telephone.
  • Be knowledgeable about email phishing scams. Emails can appear to be from a legitimate source, when they are not. It is good practice to never send personal information via email.
  • Know that Old National will never make an unsolicited phone request for your account information, password or other sensitive data. We will not request confidential information via email.

Source: Gartner, Inc. and Old National Bank

Related links

  • Attorney General resources