Protecting Your Identity

Protecting your Personal Identity

When it comes to protecting your identity and personal information, you can never be too careful. Today’s technology makes many daily tasks much easier for us to manage, but unfortunately, it has also made it easier for people to access our personal information creating increased opportunity for identify theft and fraud. 

Identity theft occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. It can cost you time and money, destroy your credit and ruin your good name.

Don’t hit the panic button. Banks and other financial institutions work around the clock to protect you and your account. While we work to protect you, it’s important that you also take a proactive role in safe guarding your personal information.

Whether online, at home or out and about there are very easy ways to better protect you from personal security threats.

Simple steps to protect your identity

  • Shred financial documents and paperwork containing personal information before you discard them. That includes credit card offers you receive in the mail or other items that are unsolicited.
  • Protect your Social Security number. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another form of identification.
  • Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you know whom you are dealing with.
  • Never click on links sent in unsolicited e-mails and be extra cautious with social media. Instead, stick with web addresses you know and trust. Use firewall, antispyware and antivirus software to protect your home computer (and keep this software updated). Visit for more information.
  • Don’t use an obvious password, such as your birth date, your mother’s maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Select something you’ll remember, but is not an obvious guess for someone that knows or doesn’t know you.
  • Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates or house guests. 

Keep your bank in the know

To help NBT Bank protect your account, it is important to keep us aware of any necessary updates to your contact information, such as your:

  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Cell phone number
  • Email address

Heading on spring break or are you starting an internship out of town? Be sure to let us know about upcoming trips to locations not in your normal regional area. To help minimize your exposure to fraud and the impact it may have on your account, NBT Bank monitors your debit card and ATM transactions for unusual activity. Such trips or activity may be one of the triggers we catch.

What we will do if we suspect fraud

If we suspect fraudulent debit card or ATM use, fraud detection specialists calling on our behalf will contact you to validate the legitimacy of your transactions (this may be from a person or an automated-calling system). Your timely response to this call is critical in preventing potential risks and avoiding restrictions we may place on the use of your card.

If unusual activity is detected, our fraud detection specialists will first ask if you are the cardholder. They will verify they have the correct card by referencing the last four digits of your debit card or ATM number. You will also be asked to verify:

  • Your zip code
  • Recent transactions

If you confirm that recent transactions are not authorized, your card will be deactivated and a new card issued.

If you are not at home when the call takes place you will be provided with a case number for reference and asked to contact our fraud detection specialists.

Please be diligent in monitoring transaction activity on your accounts and contact us immediately if you identify any fraudulent transactions.

Tips when using your ATM or iStrive Debit Card

It’s also important to keep your security top of mind when using your ATM or iStrive Debit at the ATM or at a local or online business. Here are some great tips to keep in mind when you need to access your money or make a purchase:

  • Avoid giving out personal information unless required for a legitimate business purpose.
  • Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and passwords private. Do not write them down or give them to family or friends.
  • Keep your card in sight. Do not let cashiers take your card out of your sight.
  • Be mindful of your environment. Watch for cell-phone cameras, mirrors or other devices used to view cards and PINs. Go to another ATM if you notice any unusual activity at the one you are using.
  • Never respond to unsolicited e-mails that: ask you to verify your card or account number or provide a link to another website.

To learn more, contact your local NBT Banker or call 1.800.NBT.BANK 

*The Federal Trade Commission is the source for this information. To learn more about identity theft visit . Or request copies of identity theft resources by writing to: Consumer Response Center Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, H-130 Washington, DC 20580.