What is Identity Theft?

Identity Theft

Avoiding becoming a victim of fraud depends on understanding how people use identity to commit it.

Identity theft is a criminal act where an individual wrongfully obtains and uses another’s personal information or data through fraud or deception, usually for financial gain. Identity theft can occur when someone illegally utilizes your personal or financial information without your consent. This stolen information may include:

  • Your name and address
  • Credit card or bank account numbers
  • Social Security number
  • Medical insurance account numbers

Perpetrators of identity theft can use this information in various ways, such as making unauthorized purchases, opening new credit cards in your name, or even legally obtaining property while pretending to be you.

How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Taking proactive steps to safeguard your personal information is crucial. Here are practical measures to stay ahead of identity thieves:

  1. Guard Your Documents:
    • Keep financial records, Social Security cards, and Medicare cards in a secure place.
    • Shred sensitive documents before disposal.
    • Retrieve mail promptly to prevent theft from your mailbox.
  2. Question Each Time Your Social Security Number is Requested:
    • Organizations like the IRS, banks, colleges and employers may legitimately need your Social Security number.
    • Be cautious if someone calls, emails or texts you asking for it.
    • Ask questions: Why do they need it? How will they protect it? Can alternative identifiers be used?
  3. Online and Phone Security:
    • Use strong passwords for online accounts.
    • Enable multi-factor authentication for added security.
    • Be wary of scammers online and on your phone.
  4. Monitor Your Accounts Regularly:
    • Review bank statements, credit card transactions and other financial records frequently.
    • Set up alerts for suspicious activity.
  5. Educate Yourself:
    • Stay informed about common identity theft tactics.
    • Knowledge is your best defense.

Remember, vigilance and awareness are essential in safeguarding your identity against theft.

Help your bank protect you against fraud.

Cadence Bank protects its customers with first-rate encryption, required PIN login for mobile banking, and continuous surveillance of payment channels. But you can do your part to help by practicing good identity theft awareness.

Visit our Fraud and Security Center to learn more about how we keep your accounts and personal information safe.

Contact Cadence Bank if you have any questions about Cadence Bank’s fraud prevention tactics. You can read more about personal finance in our Insights & Articles section.





This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

By: Cadence Bank on Mar 15, 2024

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