Customer Awareness

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 9 million Americans have their identity stolen each year, and Great Plains National Bank wants to provide each of their customers information to help to protect them against identity theft.  While Great Plains National Bank cannot guarantee that your identity will never be stolen, we want to make our customers aware of steps to help prevent identity theft.

NOTE:   Great Plains National Bank will never initiate a request for personal information such as social security number, account number(s), PIN numbers or login information (username and/or passwords), nor will we ever request you to verify your account information via email or text message.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a term used to refer to fraud that involves someone pretending to be someone else in order to steal money or get other benefits.  Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, address, date of birth, driver's license, Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

How do thieves steal an identity?

  1. Dumpster Diving - Thieves look through your trash for any item that has your personal information on it.
  2. Lost or Stolen Items - Personal identification is obtained by stealing wallets, credit cards, driver's license, Social Security cards, or mail.
  3. Skimming - They capture credit/debit card numbers at an ATM or when you are making an actual purchase by using a special storage device that they attach to the ATM.
  4. Phishing - They send deceptive e-mails or pop-up messages to get people to reveal any personal, financial, or log-in information.  The email, links within the email, or pop-up usually look like they come from a trusted site but are designed to deceive individuals to obtain personal data such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, or social security number.
  5. Changing Your Address - They complete a change of address form and have your billing statements sent to another location.
  6. Pretexting -  They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information on the phone by posing as a financial institution or another legitimate company.  They usually claim there is an issue with your account and need your personal information to fix it.
  7. On-lookers - They will steal personal information by looking over you shoulder when you use your ATM card, debit/credit card, or a public PC.  They also will listen to any personal information when you are talking on the telephone.
  8. Pharming - They redirect a website's traffic to another website or a bogus site.
  9. Unsecure Networks - Thieves gain access to networks because they are improperly configured such as wireless networks that do not use encryption and are not password protected.

What steps to take if your identity has been stolen?

If you have been a victim of identity theft, please reference the Federal Trade Commission links below. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/defend.html  http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/compromised.html

How to protect your identity?

  1. Destroy all data that contains personal information.  All documents should be shredded with a cross-cut shredder.  Also, all hard drives in PCs need to be wiped cleaned and physically destroyed before disposing of them.
  2. If checks, debit cards, or credit cards are stolen, report it immediately.
  3. Immediately empty your mail so thieves will not steal it.  If possible, lock your mail box.
  4. Never leave receipts behind such as at a gas station.
  5. Use security software and/or hardware such as antivirus or firewalls.
  6. Do not give out any personal information unless you know for certain with whom you are dealing, and they are trust worthy.
  7. Only put personal information on the internet when the website is encrypted.
  8. Review bills and statements upon receiving them.
  9. Obtain copies of your credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies to ensure the information is accurate.

    • Equifax: http://www.equifax.com
    • Experian: http://www.experian.com
    • Trans Union: http://www.transunion.com
  10. Change passwords regularly and make them complex (i.e. at least 8 characters which are made of up three of these four: upper case characters, lower case characters, numbers, and symbols.
  11. Do not respond to unsolicited email asking for personal information – so-called "phishing" and "pharming" schemes.
  12. Verify browser is secure when accessing private data by seeing a lock next to the URL and viewing the SSL certificate by clicking the lock.
  13. Be careful while using a public WiFi.  Do not view private data on a public WiFi.
  14. While at ATMs, be aware of your surroundings, and verify no skimming device is on the ATM.


The Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/about-identity-theft.html

OnGuard Online: onguardonline.gov