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detecting fraud

The best detector of fraud or identity theft is you.  The sooner fraud is detected, the lower the financial impact.  By monitoring your accounts you can look for strange activity and act fast to minimize the financial impact.

Recognize fraud or identity theft

It is important to recognize suspicious activities that may indicate fraud or identity theft.

Fraud is when someone uses your accounts to make unauthorized purchases, usually when the card or account number has been stolen.  Possible signs of fraudulent activity are:

  • You do not receive an expected bill or statement by mail.
  • You see unexpected charges on your account.
  • Your credit report contains accounts not yours or has inaccurate information.
  • You receive notice that you have been denied credit, but did not apply for credit.

Identity theft happens when a thief steals information such as your name, birth date or Social Security number to open credit cards, mortgages and other accounts without your knowledge.  Identity theft may be indicated by:

  • There are new accounts on your credit report that are not yours.
  • You receive credit cards you did not apply for.
  • You receive calls from debt collectors for something you did not buy.
Monitor your accounts regularly

Check your account activity frequently looking for anything unusual. View your online account statements to detect fraud earlier and contact your financial institution immediately if you see anything suspicious. If you suspect that any of your accounts with West Shore Bank have been compromised, please notify us immediately.

  • Over 50 percent of identity fraud is discovered by the victim.
  • Customers with electronic access to their accounts detect fraud or identity theft earlier than those who rely on paper statements.
  • Customers enrolled in Online Banking that use our email alert functions receive timely notification about activity in their accounts, which can help identify fraud quickly.
  • Receiving e-statements instead of paper statements helps reduce the risk of mail fraud.

Check your credit report annually

By monitoring your credit report you can verify that no new accounts or loans have been approved in your name using stolen information.  National credit reporting agencies are required to provide you with free copy of your credit report once every 12 months.  You can make this request by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling (877) 322-8228.  Your legal rights are explained on the Federal Trade Commission's website at www.ftc.gov.

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