Protecting Your Identity
- Theft: Stealing wallets and purses – including Social Security numbers, credit/debit cards and ATM PIN numbers
- Mail: Taking your mail from unprotected mailboxes – including bank account and credit card statements
- Trash: Digging through trash for receipts, statements, credit card offers, etc.
- Phone: Making unsolicited calls requesting private information
- Online: Receiving malicious software or fraudulent emails
While identity theft continues to be a threat, taking a few simple steps can help prevent the loss of personal information and subsequent fraudulent activity.
Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC)
We take identity theft seriously. BMO Harris Bank recommends ITAC to its customers who live in the United States and who have been a victim of identity theft. ITAC helps victims of identity theft by reducing the delay and frustration that consumers can often experience as they restore their financial identity. The ITAC is a cooperative initiative founded by the financial services industry that provides free victim assistance services for customers of member companies.
Free ID Theft Assistance
We are committed to helping protect you from identity theft and fraud. With our Free Identity Theft Assistance, we're available at 1-888-340-2265 to assist you and answer your questions. Or stop by one of our convenient office locations during business hours and speak with one of our bankers.
If you suspect that someone has gained access to important personal information, please contact us immediately and we'll help you through the steps you should take to protect your accounts.
Safeguard Your Personal Information
- Carry only necessary identification; do not carry your Social Security Card.
- Shred papers with any of your personal information - especially credit card applications.
- If you have the option to choose a password on your accounts, don't use your mother's maiden name. Remember, online User ID's and password combinations are confidential and for your protection; they should never be shared.
- Use an online bill pay service to pay bills online. Retrieve incoming mail as soon as possible from your mailbox. If you must pay a bill through the mail, use a secure mailbox.
- A growing trend in identity theft involves criminals stealing checks out of mailboxes. When mailing your bills, don't leave payment envelopes containing checks in your mailbox; use a secure mailbox. Also, pay attention to the information that you write on your checks. For example, when you pay your credit card bill, don't list the entire credit card number on the "for" line. For even greater protection, use an online bill payment service.
- Don't give out your Social Security Number to anyone unless you have initiated the contact and know who you are dealing with. Don't carry your Social Security Card with you and don't print your Social Security Number on your checks.
- When providing your phone number, use your work telephone number instead of your home telephone number.
- Be suspicious of telephone, text message or email requests for personal information.
Monitor Your Personal Information
- Review your financial statements carefully and promptly upon receipt. Question transactions that look unfamiliar. Also, if you don't receive your statement when you're expecting it, contact your financial institution.
- Sign any debit cards and credit cards as soon as you receive them.
- Report lost/stolen checks, debit cards and credit cards immediately. To report lost/stolen checks, debit cards and credit cards associated with your BMO Harris accounts, call us at 1-888-340-2265.
- Check your credit report at least once a year. We've listed the three credit reporting agencies below. Consumers are eligible for a free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. For reports and additional information, visit the Annual Credit Report website. Once you get your report, look at it carefully.
- Is all your information correct?
- Are there any accounts or addresses that aren't familiar?
- Does the number of inquiries seem reasonable?
Any unusual information may indicate identity theft. Contact the agency's fraud hotline right away. You also have the option of adding a consumer fraud alert that will require creditors to contact you whenever a new account is opened in your name. For more information on what to do should you think you've been a victim visit our "Report Fraud & Suspicious Activity" section of this site.