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Protecting Your Identity

Identity Theft Protection

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Smart ways to stay safe.

With nearly 17 million annual victims of identity fraud, it’s more important now than ever to protect your personal information.1 As cyberattacks and hackers become more sophisticated and prevalent, use these helpful tips to stay one step ahead and protect yourself from identity theft.


1. Safeguard your information.

It’s important to take care of the little things when it comes to identity protection. 

  • Get rid of it: Make sure you shred any documents with personal or financial information.
  • Protect yourself: Keep your Social Security number private; never carry it in your wallet, write it on a check, or share over email.
  • Create smarter passwords: Don't use anything obvious like a birthday or name.


2. Be cautious on social media.

Always remember to think before you post. Even if your privacy settings are high, you don’t want to share anything too personal on your social networks. Social media attacks are becoming more and more common; according to a Stratecast study, 22% of social media users said they have fallen victim to a security-related incident.2 Mainly, we recommend to avoid posting pictures that could reveal your home address, work address, or current location. Also, be aware of posting anything that could potentially be used to reset a password, such as a pet name, mother’s maiden name, or high school attended.


3. Know your digital footprint.

When it comes to identity protection, it’s a good idea to occasionally search your name on the internet. By finding out what others can easily search, you can erase any personal information that you may have forgotten on old social media accounts, blogs, etc..


4. Beware of public Wi-Fi.

Connecting to public Wi-Fi can be a helpful way to save on your phone’s data plan, but be careful when using unprotected networks. Make sure that you take a close look before connecting, as deceptive networks used by hackers can seem official by being named “Airport” or “Café.” Once you do connect, never use any public network for financial transactions.


5. Be careful where you click.

Links and questionable ads are still a source of cyberattacks. Think before you click or tap on anything to make sure it’s a trusted source—this is one of the most important ways to prevent identity theft and protect your personal information.


6. Ensure online work safety.

Cybersecurity is as important at work as it is at home. Small and medium-sized businesses should take steps to protect their company, employees, and customers. One source is the National Cyber Security Alliance’s CyberSecure My Business™, a program that specifically assists businesses in identity theft protection.


7. Detect suspicious activity.

Routinely monitor your billing statements to look for any unexpected transactions. Perhaps mark your calendar or put a note in your phone when regular bills arrive so you can detect if something goes missing from your mailbox.


8. Inspect your credit report.

Credit reports contain your personal financial information, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history. By regularly checking your credit report, you can ensure there are no fraudulent accounts or payments. At your request, major nationwide consumer reporting companies—such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—are required by law to give you a free copy of your credit report each year. Visit or call 877-322-8228 to order your free credit reports each year.


9. Freeze your credit report.

Freezing your credit is not only a tactic to prevent further damage after an identity theft incident, but also a preventative measure you can take to safeguard your credit. When you place a credit freeze, creditors and lenders cannot pull your credit report or score, and anyone trying to access will need to provide a password to unlock it. You can set a credit freeze at each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion).3


Common ways identity theft happens.

Identity thieves use a variety of methods to steal your personal information:

  • Dumpster diving: Some thieves may search through trash for bills, credit applications, or anything that contains enough personal information to use fraudulently. Use a shredder to protect yourself.
  • Skimming: Hidden devices attached to card readers, often at gas stations or ATMs, can steal credit or debit card information. Take an extra second to look before you swipe.
  • Phishing: Hackers will call, email, or instant message pretending to be financial institutions, companies, or government agencies in an attempt to elicit personal information from you. Double-check the authenticity of email addresses or phone numbers before you respond.
  • Hacking: By guessing or resetting passwords, hackers can gain access to a company’s database or your personal accounts.
  • Theft: The physical theft of wallets, purses, mail (including bank and credit card statements), preapproved credit offers, new checks, or tax information can leave people vulnerable.
How to respond if compromised.
  • Place a fraud alert with any of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies: Experian: 888-397-3742, TransUnion: 800-680-7289, or Equifax: 860-525-6285. The alerts tell creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts. Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports. Look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debts on your accounts that you can’t explain.
  • Contact the security or fraud departments of each company where an account was opened or charged without your permission.
  • Follow up in writing with copies of supporting documents.
  • Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commissions at, or TTY: 98660 653-4261. Your report helps law enforcement officials to help you correct your credit report and deal with creditors who may want proof of the crime.
  • Ask for verification that the disputed account has been dealt with and the fraudulent debts discharged.
  • Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.
  • If your Flagstar card is lost or stolen, call Customer Service at 888-248-6423 as soon as possible. We’ll place an immediate restriction on your account so it stays protected and send you a new card. ATM cards are available at your local branch and can be issued and activated during your visit.
Safety First.

At Flagstar Bank, we value your personal security and safety. Our team is ready to help if you have questions about how to prevent identity theft and protect your accounts.

Still have questions?

Give us a call.

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