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Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft

*SCAM ALERT* January 8, 2019

Scam Alert Mortgage MailerPlease be advised that fraudulent postcards are being sent to people around the country from “H.W.C.”, “Mortgage Protection Services” and similar agencies.

The mailers ask recipients to call a toll-free number regarding an important matter with their mortgage or loan. These may appear to be from SouthStar Bank and other loan institutions, however, this is a fraudulent attempt to collect personal information. DO NOT CALL. As it states on the postcard, “H.W.C.” is not affiliated with SouthStar Bank in any way and no loan information has been provided to them.

If you have recently purchased or refinanced your home, expect to get multiple offers from companies selling mortgage protection insurance. Many of these offers are potential scams. The scammers use publicly available loan data to contact potential victims. The scammers will attempt to obtain your personal information in order to commit identity theft. This post card is one example, but this type of fraud attempt may also come in other formats.

PLEASE NOTE: SouthStar Bank will NEVER ask for your social security number, passwords, or other sensitive information via postcard or over the phone.

We urge all of our clients and community members to be cautious of suspicious solicitation. Please contact your local SouthStar Bank branch with questions or concerns.

Protecting your personal information can help reduce your risk of identity theft. The four ways to protect your information are:

1. Dispose of information securely. Do not throw away information such as social security numbers, birth dates, etc. without destroying them through the use of a shredder or other means.

2. Maintain appropriate security on your computer and other electronic devices.

3. Ask questions before sharing personal information. Make sure it is absolutely necessary to share the information and you are sharing it with a trusted source. Do not give out personal information to strangers that call your home or e-mail you. Reputable companies will not collect your personal information using these methods.

4. Do not store personal information on a computer or share over e-mail. If you do store personal information on your computer, make sure you have excellent security. Do not store personal information in your e-mail. Remember, e-mail is like sending a post card in the mail. The information is usually not private unless indicated otherwise by the e-mail provider.

If you think you have been a victim of identity theft, contact us immediately.