Prevent Identity Theft

Q. How can I protect myself against Identity Theft?

A. The following tips can help you protect yourself from someone stealing your identity.

  • Use a separate credit card for online transactions and look over your statements for unauthorized charges.

  • Shred or destroy credit card offers and other documents that contain personal information.

  • Photocopy both sides of your credit cards and store copies in a secure, safe place.

  • Request and review your credit report annually.

  • Check business names and URLs for spelling errors.

  • Be cautious of suspicious emails or phone calls with an urgent request to provide your financial or personal information.

  • Regularly check credit card and bank statements, debit card and online banking activity for unauthorized transactions.

  • Enroll in E-Statements to help reduce the risk of people gathering information from discarded bank statements.

  • Give your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary, and ask to use other types of identifiers first. Don't carry your Social Security number in your wallet or write it on a check.

  • Use intricate passwords—combinations of letters, numbers and special characters make much stronger passwords than your mother's maiden name, your birth date or your phone number.

  • Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you've initiated the contact and know who you're dealing with.

Q. What can I do if I fall victim to Identity Theft?

A. The most important thing you can do if you suspect your identity has been compromised, is to act quickly and report your stolen information to your financial institution and to your local police department.

Q. Who can I contact to review my credit report if I think I might have been the victim of Identity Theft?

A. If you suspect you have fallen victim to fraud or that your identity has been compromised, you should contact each credit bureau to review your credit report (addresses and phone numbers are listed below). You can also request a free credit report annually from or by calling the Federal Trade Commission at 877-322-8228.

Equifax | P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374, 800-685-1111

Experian | P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, 888-397-3742

TransUnion | P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022, 800-888-4213

Q. What do I do if I believe my Debit or Credit Card has been lost or stolen?

A. For Debit Cards—If you believe your Patriots Bank Debit Card has been lost or stolen, please contact us immediately any branch during office hours or call 800.383.8000 outside of business hours.

For Credit Cards—If you believe your Patriots Bank Credit Card has been lost or stolen, please contact call 1-800-675-6284

Q. Where can I get more information regarding the prevention of Identity Theft?

A. If you want more information about how to prevent identity theft, here are some additional resources available to you:

The Federal Trade Commission's website provides tips and a video with information about the steps you can take to protect your personal and financial information.

OnGuard Online is a government website that offers tips to avoid scams, secure your computer and protect kids online.

The FDIC also provides consumer protection resources on several topics, including identity theft and fraud.