Identity Fraud Protection
You may be the victim of identity, fraud and not even know it.
Accessing your bank account, running up astronomical charges on your credit card, even opening up new accounts in your name can all be done with a few critical pieces of personal information. Scary, isn't it?
Although this is a rare crime, there are unscrupulous individuals who will try to access your personal and financial information to assume your identity.
Identity fraud boils down to this: Armed with a piece or two of your vital personal information, a criminal can access and drain your financial accounts, open new accounts or apply for loans and credit cards under your name, and perhaps even have your mail routed to him or her. This type of fraud has increased dramatically in recent years.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself against potential identity theft of your information:
- Don't provide your Social Security number or personal credit information to anyone who calls you over the phone. Only provide information when YOU initiate the call and are familiar with the business.
- Tear up or shred credit card receipts, bank statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away. Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers by calling 1.888.5OPT.OUT.
- Prevent Telemarketers from calling by signing up for the Massachusetts Do Not Call list: www.mass.gov/donotcall.
- Protect your personal information: name, address, phone, mother's maiden name, date of birth, and Social Security number.
- Protect your individual bank and credit card Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and any other passwords and change them frequently. Do not use your Social Security number as your PIN number.
- Review your monthly financial statements closely and immediately contact your bank or credit card company if you discover any unauthorized charges. If you use the Internet, only provide information to secure sites for businesses that you trust that have a clear policy on what they do with your personal information.
- Never respond to e-mail solicitations asking for personal information.
- Change your driver's license number to a randomly assigned "S" number if it is the same as your Social Security number.
- Check your credit report for accuracy each year, and immediately report any inaccuracies to the credit bureau. As a Massachusetts resident, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report per year from the three credit reporting agencies listed on the back.
- Keep a listing of all your credit and bank information in a secure place. This listing will make it easier for you to contact creditors and banks if your identity is stolen or if you simply lose your wallet.
Time is of the essence.
If you believe you have had your identity stolen, follow these steps to reduce the possible damage and loss. It is extremely important to act quickly to protect your credit rating and reduce your risk of loss.
- Immediately contact your bank to close your existing accounts. Open new accounts with new account numbers, ATM cards and PIN numbers.
- Cancel all of your credit cards and request that new accounts be established.
- Report any suspected theft of your information to your local police and request copies of all police reports
- Contact all your creditors, by phone and in writing, and inform them of the problem.
- Contact the three major credit reporting agencies by telephone and in writing to request a fraud investigation.
- Contact the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to see if a new license has been requested or issued in your name.
- KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING.
How to Report Fraud
If you feel you are the victim of account fraud or identity theft, act immediately.
To report fraud on your Bank Rhode Island accounts:
If you suspect fraud in connection with your BankRI accounts, contact us immediately at
(866) 4-BANKRI weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Contact us immediately if:
- Your checks are lost or stolen
- You don't receive your account statement
- You notice check transactions on your statement or Bank Rhode Island Online Banking account summary that you don't recognize
ATM or Debit MasterCard® Fraud
Contact us immediately if:
- Your ATM or Debit MasterCard® is lost or stolen
- You see ATM or Debit MasterCard® transactions that you don’t recognize
To report to other agencies
If you suspect you're the victim of identity theft, you should also contact these agencies:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Identify Theft Hotline: 1-877-ID-THEFT
Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline
Credit Bureau Fraud Hotlines
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
Bank Rhode Island is not responsible for the content, products, or services provided on third-party sites hyperlinked from this page. Bank Rhode Island does not endorse or guarantee the products, information, or recommendations provided on third party sites hyperlinked from this page, and Bank Rhode Island is not liable for the failure of products or services offered on those third-party sites. Third-party sites may provide less information privacy or security than the Bank Rhode Island website. You should review the privacy and security policies of a website before you provide personal or confidential information.