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Identity Theft Prevention

Identity theft occurs when unauthorized individuals pretend to be you.  Not by anything so grandiose as mimicking your looks like in the movies Mission Impossible or Face/Off, but often by the low-tech theft of your personal information – primarily your Social Security Number and bank and credit card account information.  The bad news is that sometimes you might even be an unwitting participant in this theft, which leads us to the good news:  there are things you can do to help protect yourself and minimize your chances of becoming a victim, and though these things will require your time, many can be done for FREE!

Educate Yourself

You are already taking the first step in helping protect yourself right now – Education!  Learning about identity theft and how it occurs will, in turn, help you learn the steps you can take and the pitfalls to avoid. There are many free educational resources, most provided by government agencies, that are informative, comprehensive and even fun!

Federal Trade Commission: IdentityTheft.gov

OnGuard Online: A Cooperative Inter-Governmental Agency Effort

Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft

Don't Be an On-line Victim: How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams(Macromedia Flash Player is required to view this presentation. The latest version of Macromedia Flash Player can be downloaded from Adobe.)

If you would like more information about Identity Theft, please call, email, or stop by any of our locations.

NOTE: Mercantile Bank is providing the above information as a customer service for educational purposes only, and assumes no liability for the use of this information and does not guarantee that the following recommendations will provide appropriate security.