Few things can be more stressful than realizing that fraudulent efforts have now compromised your most sensitive information. However, all is not lost. Follow the steps below to recover potential losses as quickly as possible and implement best practices to safeguard against future incidents.

Immediate Actions to Take

  1. Contact Your Bank, Financial Institutions, and Creditors

    • Speak with the fraud department and explain that someone has stolen your identity.
    • Request to close or freeze any accounts that may have been tampered with or fraudulently established.
    • Make sure to change your online login credentials, passwords, and PINs.
  2. Secure Your Email and Other Communication Accounts
    • Many people reuse passwords, and your email or cell phone account may be compromised as well.
    • Immediately change your accounts’ passwords and implement multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA prevents cybercriminals from accessing your accounts, even if they know your password.
  3. Check Your Credit Reports and Place a Fraud Alert
    • Get a free copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com or call 877.322.8228.
    • Review your credit report to make sure unauthorized accounts have not been opened in your name.
    • Report any fraudulent accounts to the appropriate financial institutions.
    • Place a fraud alert on your credit by contacting one of the three credit bureaus. The bureau you contact must inform the other two:
  4. Contact ChexSystems
    • If a deposit account has been impacted, place a security alert on the compromised checking and savings accounts by calling ChexSystems at 888.478.6536.
  5. Report an ID Theft Incident
    • Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report identity theft. Visit ftc.gov/idtheft or call 877.438.4338.
  6. Contact Local Law Enforcement
    • File a report to verify that a crime has been committed.
    • Obtain a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others who may require proof of the crime.

Additional Best Practices

  1. Monitor Your Financial Statements Regularly
    • Regularly review your bank and credit card statements for any suspicious transactions. Set up alerts with your bank for any large or unusual transactions.
  2. Utilize Security Features
    • Use card management features to freeze or reactivate your cards, create travel notices, or set up purchase notifications via your bank’s mobile app.
  3. Employ Advanced Fraud Detection Tools
    • Use tools like Positive Pay to manage checks and ACH Block/Filter to prevent unauthorized electronic transactions.
  4. Educate Yourself on Common Scams
    • Be aware of common phishing tactics and scams. For example, avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. Instead, verify the authenticity by contacting the company directly using official contact information.
  5. Secure Your Devices
    • Ensure all your devices have up-to-date antivirus software. Use encryption and strong password protocols for laptops and mobile devices. Enable “remote wiping” in case your devices are lost or stolen.
  6. Back-Up Your Data Regularly
    • Regularly back up important data to an external hard drive or cloud service. This protects you against data loss from ransomware or other cyber threats.
  7. Stay Informed About New Threats
    • Keep up-to-date with the latest fraud trends and security recommendations. Many financial institutions, including CommerceOne Bank, offer resources and alerts to help you stay informed.

Navigating through a crime of this nature can often feel tedious and overwhelming. You are the victim, and yet also responsible for recovering restitution. While we hope you do not experience this firsthand, if so, perhaps this list will make the path forward a little clearer.

For more personalized assistance, reach out to our dedicated team at CommerceOne Bank. We are here to help you protect your financial well-being with exceptional service and advanced security solutions.