Identity theft occurs when personal information such as your name, social security number, and date of birth is stolen and used to commit fraud. Using your personal information, identity thieves can open new checking or credit card accounts in your name or take out new loans in your name. Identity thieves can also run up charges on your existing credit cards or drain your bank account using stolen credit and debit card information. Signs indicating that you may be a victim of identity theft include:
- Your bank account or credit card statement has transactions that you don't recognize.
- Your credit report contains unfamiliar accounts or addresses.
- You don't receive your bills or other mail.
- You are contacted by debt collectors about debts that aren't yours.
- You receive a letter from the IRS stating that more than one tax return was filed in your name.
- You receive a notification from a company that your information was compromised by a data breach.
Criminals also target businesses and use the stolen identities of business owners and other key executives to acquire credit in the company's name. Criminals then use the credit to purchase items that can be converted to cash quickly. This type of identity theft can have a devastating impact on the business and its owners. To learn more about business identity theft risks, visit BusinessIDTheft.org.
Did you know?
- Recent statistics show that identity theft losses were over 4 times greater than losses due to stolen money and property in burglaries and theft, and eight times the total losses associated with motor vehicle theft. ¹
- Affluent individuals living in exclusive suburban neighborhoods are more likely to be victims of identity theft as well as those who hold advanced college degrees and travel abroad. ²
How to Report Identity Theft
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft you must take action quickly to limit the damage and repair your identity. To report identity theft on your accounts please refer to the following contacts:
Deposit and Loan Account clients, former Wilmington Trust Online Banking clients. M&T Web Banking and Web Banking for Business clients.
M-F 6 AM - 9 PM,
Sat-Sun 9 AM - 5 PM ET.
or visit www.mtb.com.
Brokerage clients, former Wilmington Trust Online Brokerage clients. M&T Web Trading clients.
M-F 8:30 AM - 5 PM ET.
(Closed during market holidays)
On-Line Portfolio, Institutional Services, and Wealth Advisory clients.
M-F 8 AM - 5 PM ET
In addition to contacting us, it is important that you take the following immediate steps:
- Place a fraud alert on your credit file by contacting one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. The company that you contact is required to notify the other two companies. An initial fraud alert lasts for 90 days and requires businesses to verify your identity before it issues credit. Make sure that your contact information on file with each credit reporting company is correct. For more information regarding fraud alerts on your credit report, contact:
We also recommend contacting ChexSystems at 1-800-428-9623 to place a security alert in your ChexSystems consumer file. This is similar to a fraud alert explained above and requires businesses to verify your identity before opening an account.
- Once a fraud alert is placed on your credit file you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Carefully review each of your credit reports for fraudulent activity.
- Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and print an FTC Identity Theft Affidavit. You can file a complaint online or by phone: 1-877-438-4338, TTY: 1-866-653-4261.
- File a report with local law enforcement. Make sure to bring a copy of the identity theft affidavit, a government-issued ID with a photo, and proof of your address (rental agreement, pay stub or utilities bill) when filing your report.
For additional information and tips on reporting identity theft and repairing your identity please visit the FTC's website.
How to Protect Yourself and Detect Fraudulent Activity
It is also important to check your credit report on a regular basis to detect fraudulent activity. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. To request a free copy of your credit report visit annualcreditreport.com
¹ Erika Harrell, Ph.D., Lynn Langton, Ph.D., Victims of Identity Theft, 2012
² Experian Market Insight Snapshot, Portrait of a fraud victim: affluent suburbans most at risk- January 27, 2010