How to protect yourself
- Don't give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you've initiated the contact and are sure you know who you're are dealing with.
- Before you share any personal information, confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate organization. Check the organization's website or call their customer service department using a number listed in the telephone book.
- Secure personal information in your home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having service work done in your home.
- Don't carry your Social Security card; leave it in a secure place. Give your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible.
- Don't write your Social Security number or credit card number on a check.
- Once a year, order a copy of your credit report and check it for accuracy. By reviewing your report on a regular basis, you can catch mistakes and fraud before they wreak havoc on your personal finances.
- Take care to shield the electronic keypad when entering your PIN number at an ATM or merchant. Always take your receipt with you.
- Don't write your PIN number on your ATM or debit card.
- Social Security numbers, financial records, tax returns and bank account numbers might be stored in your computer.
- Don't download files sent to you by strangers or click on hyperlinks from people you don't know.
- Always log off from your on-line banking session.
- Use a security software program to stop uninvited guests from accessing your computer. Without it, hackers can take over your computer and access any personal information stored on it.
- Shut off/disconnect your computer from the Internet when not in use.
Protecting your documentation
- Shred or tear up unwanted pre-approved credit offers, credit card access checks, bank statements, cancelled checks, debit card details, utility bills, insurance forms and expired charge cards.
- Carefully monitor financial statements (bank, credit card, investment transactions, etc.) so you might detect any unauthorized charges or withdrawals as soon as possible.
- Immediately report such unauthorized use to your bank or credit card company.
Protecting your mail
- Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office, rather than in your mailbox. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. Identity thieves sometimes obtain personal information by stealing outgoing mail.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. If regular bills fail to reach you, contact the company to find out why.
Reporting Identity Theft to Comerica
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft (i.e., you notice unauthorized transactions on your credit card or bank statements, responded to fraudulent e-mails), it is important to act as quickly as possible to minimize the damage to your finances and your credit standing.
Contact Comerica Identity Theft Resources at 877.881.8955. If you're a Comerica customer, this call will alert us of potential fraud and prompt us to close your account, if needed.
Also, as a service to our customers that have unfortunately become a victim of identity theft, we will provide exclusive access to the Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC®). ITAC® is a cooperative initiative of the financial services industry that provides a free victim assistance service for customers of member companies.
ITAC® helps victims of identity theft by reducing the delay and frustration that consumers often experience as they restore their financial identity. First, the identity theft victim and the ITAC® member company resolve any issues at that company. Then ITAC® walks the consumer through his or her credit report to find suspicious activity, notifies the affected creditors, and places fraud alerts with the credit bureaus. In addition, ITAC® shares information with law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission to help catch and convict the criminals responsible for identity theft. ITAC® is part of an ongoing effort by the financial services industry to address and reduce the human and economic consequences of fraud and identity theft. Visit the ITAC® website at http://identitytheftassistance.org
Report suspicious Comerica e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITAC is a registered trademark of the Identity Theft Assistance Corporation.