Protecting Your Debit and Credit Card Information

Fraud Prevention Tips

Identity theft, check fraud and business fraud are not crimes that happen to other people or businesses--they affect us all. There are endless opportunities for a criminal to obtain the necessary information to commit identify theft and check fraud. Therefore, it's important to take a proactive role in protecting yourself and your business from financial crimes.

One financial crime that is on the rise is "skimming". Skimming is the duplication of your card information being reprogrammed to another card to make illegitimate purchases at restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, online etc.

 

Skimming occurs when thieves place a skimming device to steal your card information on unattended card readers you use, such as ATMs or fuel pumps.  Skimming also occurs when retailers are hacked due to weak security processes. At Amegy Bank, we take fraud very seriously. We offer great solutions to help detect and prevent fraud. 

 

Here are some services we offer and tips to help you protect your information and assets from criminals.

  • Conduct thorough background checks on all potential employees. The key to committing fraud is the ability to deceive. Make sure you confirm information on job candidates before making a job offer. 
  • Enroll in Amegy Purchase Alerts. Receive timely updates about your Amegy Visa® credit or debit card activity so you can act quickly to help reduce fraud and monitor your account, wherever you are. You can choose to receive alerts through text messages to your mobile device or by email.
  • Enroll in Amegy Mobile Card Fraud AlertsReceive notification from us through a mobile text alert when there is potential fraud on your enrolled accounts. 
  • Reduce access to your personal information. Never give out credit card or personal information over the phone unless you have a trusted business relationship with the company and you have initiated the call. Do not give information to a stranger, even one claiming to be from your bank.Verify your credit report annually.
  • Shred all received mail containing sensitive information. These include bank statements, canceled checks, credit card applications, credit card checks, and credit card statements.
  • Keep a list or photocopy of all your credit cards, the account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers of the customer service and fraud departments in a secure place (not your wallet or purse) so you can quickly contact your creditors in case your cards have been stolen.
  • Always take credit card receipts with you; don’t leave them on the table. Be sure your server picks up the original. Never toss them in a public trash container.
  • Do not toss pre-approved credit offers in your trash or recycling bin without first tearing them into small pieces or shredding them. They can be used by "dumpster divers" to order credit cards in your name and mail them to their address. Do the same with other sensitive information like credit card receipts, unused bank deposit tickets, bank statements, phone bills and so on. Home shredders can be purchased in many office supply stores.
  • Reduce the number of credit cards you actively use to a bare minimum. Carry only one or two of them in your wallet.
  • Cancel all unused accounts. Even though you do not use them, their account numbers are recorded in your credit report that is full of data that can be used by identity thieves.
  • Watch the mail when you expect a new or reissued card to arrive. Contact the issuer if the card does not arrive.
  • Carefully review your statements for unauthorized use.
  • Monitor accounts regularly for suspicious transactions. Report suspicious activity immediately by calling the number on the back of your card. 
  • Alert us when you plan to travel. Notify us through Online Banking or by calling the number on the back of your card.
  • Use ATMs you are familiar with and watch for changes in appearance. Wiggle the card reader since most skimming devices are just an overlay and may be detached easily.
  • Do not leave wallets/purses unattended in shopping carts or visible in your vehicle. Opportunistic thieves are out in force during the holidays.
  • Make sure you are on a secure site when making online purchases. Look for "https" in the url and/or the padlock icon .

  

Resources

Credit-Reporting Bureaus

To request a credit report:

  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
  • Equifax: 1-800-685-1111
  • Trans Union: 1-800-916-8800

To report fraud:

  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
  • Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
  • ChexSystems: 1-800-513-7125


Marketing Lists:

  • Mail Preference Service
    c/o Direct Marketing Association
    P.O. Box 9008
    Farmingdale, NY 11735
  • Telephone Preference Service
    c/o Direct Marketing Association
    P.O. Box 9014
    Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014


Social Security Administration:

Call the Social Security Administration should someone obtain your SSN - 1-800-772-1213


Federal Trade Commission:

For complaints:

  • Phone:
    FTC Identity Theft Hotline 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338)
  • Mail:
    Identity Theft Clearinghouse
    Federal Trade Commission
    600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington DC 20580-0001

Ask for a copy of ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name, a free comprehensive consumer guide to help you guard against and recover from identity theft.


Check Verification Companies:

  • Equifax: 1-800-337-5689
  • TeleCheck: 1-800-710-9898
  • United Check Control: 1-800-299-1331
Personal Identification Numbers (PINs)
  • Do not share and memorize your PIN. Don’t record them on anything in your wallet, purse, or electronic organizer.
  • Avoid anyone looking over your shoulder during an ATM transaction or making long distance calls with your phone card.