Tips to protect you against fraudulent activity
At Merchants Bank of Alabama, our priority is to take care of our customers. Many people fall victim to theft and fraudulent activity and as your financial caretakers, we want to equip you with helpful advice on how to protect yourself and your family.
When you reorder your checks, have only your initials (instead of your first name) and last name printed on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but the bank will know how you sign your checks.
- Sign your new check or debit cards as soon as they arrive in the mail or note "Check Identification" on the signature line.
- Treat your cards like money. Store them in a secure place.
- Limit the number of credit cards you carry on a regular basis. Only carry the cards you will use.
- Do NOT write your personal identification number (PIN) on the back of your bank or credit cards. Keep all PIN numbers in a secure place, not written on papers in your wallet.
- Select a PIN not associated with your birthday, social security number or phone number.
- Do NOT print your Social Security number on checks or any other bank related documents for retail use.
- Shred anything with your account number before throwing it away, including pre approved credit card offers.
- Do NOT give your card number over the phone unless you initiate the call. Always ask why your information is needed before providing it.
- Do NOT write any bank or credit card number or your Social Security number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
- Remember to get your card and receipt after a transaction and double-check to be sure they are yours.
- Notify card issuers immediately if your billing statement is incorrect or your credit cards are lost or stolen.
- If you do not receive your monthly billing statement, notify the company immediately.
- Request a copy of your credit report every few years. Reviewing your report will tell you if anyone has applied for credit in your name and if any accounts are being used without your knowledge with the billing address being sent to a different address.
- Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel if they are stolen. Keep the photocopies in a safe place and keep the file current.
- If you have your purse or wallet stolen, file a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent and is the first step toward an investigation should there be one.
- PROTECT YOUR CREDIT RATING. Call the three national credit reporting organizations IMMEDIATELY to place fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. This alerts creditors to contact you by phone to authorize new credit
P O Box 740241
Atlanta GA 30374-0241
P O Box 9532
Allen TX 75013
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P O Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
If your MERCHANTS BANK OF ALABAMA credit or check/debit/ATM card is lost or stolen, report it immediately by calling the following toll free number:
Merchants Bank of Alabama MasterCard CHECK (Debit) cards: 1-800-500-1044
Merchants Bank of Alabama VISA/MC CREDIT cards: 1-800-854-7642
Or for MasterCard Assist Services 1-800-MC-ASSIST Or collect (314) 542-7111 Internationally
Call us at (256) 734-8110 or (800) 840-4458 with your comments or questions.
We are here to help you! www.merchantsbankal.com