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Consumer Protection

What the Bank is Doing to Keep Your Identity Safe?
Substantial measures are in place to protect your identity against theft and fraud:

  • Internal Confidentiality - Access to non-public information about you is limited to employees who need to know that information to provide you with our products and services.
  • Employee Training - Employees are trained periodically throughout the year on handling sensitive and confidential information, fraud prevention, and identity theft. They are also tested to ensure that they are following the proper procedures.
  • Online Security - Your Online banking transactions are secure. The Online Banking System brings together a combination of industry-approved security technologies to protect data for the bank and for you, our customer. It features password-controlled system entry and a VeriSign-issued Digital ID for the bank's server and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol for data encryption.
  • Privacy Policies - Our Privacy Policy Protects your personal and financial information. These policies are stringent and enforced with employee training which is provided regularly.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself?

  • Before you give personal information, ask your bank, doctor's office, other businesses and your employer how they will use and protect your personal information.
  • Never carry your Social Security Card or number, birth certificate or passport unless necessary. Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Review new deliveries of checks to make sure none have been stolen in transit.
  • Do not have your social security number or driver's license number printed on your checks.
  • Never give identifying information over the phone or internet to someone you don't know.
  • Shred financial solicitations or financial statements before disposing of them.
  • Deposit your mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
  • If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail and steal your identity.
  • Do not use your mother's maiden name or other common information, ie. Phone number, birthdates, etc. as passwords.
  • Keep a list of credit card and bank account numbers, expiration dates and phone numbers in a safe place.
  • Never leave your purse or billfold unattended. Examples, in your car, motel room etc.
  • PROTECT all PIN's and Passwords. Change them often. Use a combination of lower and upper case letters and numbers.
  • Use Virus Protection software.
  • Do not open attachments or links from unknown senders.
  • Get a copy of your credit report every year. A law (The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, or FACT Act) requires each of the three credit reporting companies to provide you a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. We recommend that you go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228 periodically throughout the year to get a free credit report.

You can also contact the credit reporting companies:

What To Do If Your Identity Has Been Compromised?
If you become a victim of identity theft, you can take action. To ensure the best possible protection ... don't wait. Once you suspect that your identity has been compromised take the following steps immediately:

  1. Go to the FTC website, www.ftc.gov/idtheft to locate a theft affidavit form. This comprehensive form will help you in documenting the information that you will need to provide to several organizations.

  2. The next step is to contact the three national consumer reporting agencies. Ask each agency to place a "fraud alert" on your credit report, and send you a copy of your credit file. When you have completed your affidavit packet, you may want to send them a copy to help them investigate the disputed accounts.

    Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc.
    1-800-685-1111 to obtain a copy of your report.
    P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

    Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
    (888) 397-3742
    P.O. Box 9530, Allen, TX 75013

    (800) 680-7289/ TDD (877) 553-7803
    Fraud Victim Assistance Division
    P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634-6790

  3. Then contact the fraud department at each creditor, bank, or utility/service that provided the identity thief with unauthorized credit, goods or services. This would be a good time to find out if the company accepts this affidavit, and whether they require notarization or a copy of the police report.

  4. Contact your local police department. Ask the officer to take a report and give you the report number or a copy of the report. When you have completed the affidavit packet, you may want to give your police department a copy to help them add to their report and verify the crime.

  5. Contact the FTC, which maintains the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse - the federal government's centralized identity theft complaint database - and provides information to identity theft victims. You can call toll-free 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338), visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft, or send mail to:

    Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse
    Federal Trade Commission
    600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20580

    The FTC collects complaints from identity theft victims and shares their information with law enforcement nationwide. This information also may be shared with other government agencies, consumer reporting agencies, and companies where the fraud was perpetrated to help resolve identity theft related problems.

  6. If you believe someone may have used your SSN fraudulently you will need to contact and complete forms for the IRS. To aid victims whose social security number has been compromised the IRS has a Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft. Please click here to access the guide: www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft.

Additional Websites and Information on Identity Theft & Fraud

These websites contain more information on securing sensitive data and protecting yourself or your business from identity theft and fraud.

If you have any questions, please contact Western Bank’s Customer Service at 651-290-8176.