Protecting Your Identity

Whether you bank online, in person or over the phone, First Bank is constantly working to protect you from criminal activity. We are committed to protecting your personal information. We maintain a comprehensive customer information security program utilizing administrative, technical and physical safeguards. Your other greatest ally? Awareness. Learn more about fraud and identity theft, how to prevent it, and what to do in case you become a victim.

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal information—such as your Social Security number, bank account number, or other identification—and uses it repeatedly to open new accounts or initiate transactions in your name. Essentially, they try to become you. For example, someone might do a combination of the following: open new credit cards, open new bank accounts, forge checks and even apply for loans using your name and personal information. This can cause financial loss and damage your credit, which can lead to a lengthy resolution process.

Keep in mind however, that even if you think your security has been compromised, it does not automatically mean that you are a victim of identity theft. It might be an incorrect entry or an isolated incident of theft from your First Bank account that is quickly resolved by calling First Bank at (601) 684-2231.

How Identity Theft Can Happen



  • Dumpster diving for documents containing personal or financial information
  • Stealing a purse or wallet
  • Taking incoming or outgoing mail from your home mailbox
  • Breaking into your home and taking documents or a computer with personal or financial information stored on it
  • Shoulder surfing at ATM machines and phone booths in order to capture PIN numbers

Address change

  • Identity thieves change the address on account statements or bills and have them sent to their address or, more likely, a PO Box

From businesses

  • Stealing information where they work
  • Bribing an employee
  • Conning an employee (see pretext calling)
  • Hacking into a company's computer system


  • Stealing credit/debit card information by using a data storage device when processing (swiping) a card


Phishing - fishing for confidential information

  • The consumer receives an email that appears to be valid and originate from a financial institution, government agency or other reputable entity
  • The message states an urgent reason why you must "verify" or "re-submit" personal or confidential information by clicking on a link embedded in the message - the link appears to be the website of the legitimate company but really belongs to the "phisher"


  • Software that can track online usage and personal information, even record every keystroke
  • Often unknowingly installed by consumers because it is packaged with other software

Trojan Horse virus

  • An email virus usually released by opening an email attachment
  • The virus scours the hard drive for personal information then sends this information to the thief's email address

Pretext Calling

  • The identity thief calls a financial institution posing as a customer, an official at another bank, a government regulator or a law enforcement officer trying to get information on customer's account
  • May use intimidation (threatening to close account), helplessness or claim an emergency situation


What to Look For

  • Bills that don't arrive when expected
  • New or replacement credit cards that don't arrive in a timely manner
  • Credit card bills or account statements for accounts you didn't open
  • Calls or letters from collection agencies about accounts you didn't open
  • Unexpected denials of credit
  • Emails asking for personal information that don't address you by name, threaten action if you don't respond, or contain spelling errors

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How to Prevent Identify Theft

  • Don't give out personal or financial information such as social security number, checking or credit card numbers, or pin numbers unless you personally know the person or organization. Always keep this information in a safe place.
  • Never email any of the above information even to your banker. Email is not a secure transmission. It is the equivalent of a postcard and you wouldn't put your social security number on a postcard for the post office to read, would you?
  • Shred any financial offers you receive such as those for credit card offers and any bank statements before throwing them away. Consider getting your bank statements online, it will not only help protect your identity but it will help the environment.
  • Protect your ATM PIN number and ATM receipts. Keep your ATM card and PIN number separate and shred them if you should need to dispose them. Never write your PIN number on your card, memorize it instead.
  • Report lost or stolen checks, debit cards or credit cards immediately to the appropriate party.
  • If you see something questionable on a bill, don't hesitate to question it as this may help prevent possible fraud.
  • Annually check your credit report for accuracy and report any errors immediately.
  • Review your account statements regularly, online and on paper.