Identity Fraud Prevention

Identity Fraud Can Happen to You 

You may be the victim of identity fraud and not even know it.

Accessing your bank account, running up astronomical charges on your credit card, even opening up new accounts in your name can all be done with a few critical pieces of personal information. Scary, isn't it?

Although this is a rare crime, there are unscrupulous individuals who will try to access your personal and financial information to assume your identity.

Identity fraud boils down to this: Armed with a piece or two of your vital personal information, a criminal can access and drain your financial accounts, open new accounts or apply for loans and credit cards under your name, and perhaps even have your mail routed to him or her. This type of fraud has increased dramatically in recent years.

Here are some ways you can protect yourself against potential identity theft of your information:

  • Don't provide your Social Security number or personal credit information to anyone who calls you over the phone. Only provide information when YOU initiate the call and are familiar with the business.
  • Tear up or shred credit card receipts, bank statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away. Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers by calling 1.888.5OPT.OUT.
  • Prevent Telemarketers from calling by signing up for the Massachusetts Do Not Call list: www.mass.gov/donotcall.
  • Protect your personal information: name, address, phone, mother's maiden name, date of birth, and Social Security number.
  • Protect your individual bank and credit card Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and any other passwords and change them frequently. Do not use your Social Security number as your PIN number.
  • Review your monthly financial statements closely and immediately contact your bank or credit card company if you discover any unauthorized charges. If you use the Internet, only provide information to secure sites for businesses that you trust that have a clear policy on what they do with your personal information.
  • Never respond to e-mail solicitations asking for personal information.
  • Change your driver's license number to a randomly assigned "S" number if it is the same as your Social Security number.
  • Check your credit report for accuracy each year, and immediately report any inaccuracies to the credit bureau. As a Massachusetts resident, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report per year from the three credit reporting agencies listed on the back.
  • Keep a listing of all your credit and bank information in a secure place. This listing will make it easier for you to contact creditors and banks if your identity is stolen or if you simply lose your wallet.

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Time is of the essence.

If you believe you have had your identity stolen, follow these steps to reduce the possible damage and loss. It is extremely important to act quickly to protect your credit rating and reduce your risk of loss.

  • Immediately contact your bank to close your existing accounts. Open new accounts with new account numbers, ATM cards and PIN numbers.
  • Cancel all of your credit cards and request that new accounts be established.
  • Report any suspected theft of your information to your local police and request copies of all police reports
  • Contact all your creditors, by phone and in writing, and inform them of the problem.
  • Contact the three major credit reporting agencies by telephone and in writing to request a fraud investigation.
  • Contact the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to see if a new license has been requested or issued in your name.
  • KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING.

 

Important Contact Information

Brookline Bank
P.O. Box 470469
Brookline, MA 02447-0469
877-668-2265
Contact Us

Massachusetts Attorney General's Consumer Hotline
617.727.8400

Federal Trade Commission Hotline
877.ID.THEFT

Office of Consumer Affairs Hotline
617.727.7780
888.283.3757

Massachusetts Division of Banks
617.956.1500
800.495.2265

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles
617.351.4500

United States Department of State-lost passports
US Department of State
Passport Services
Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
202.955.0430

The Credit Reporting Bureaus/Fraud Departments:

Equifax
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
800.525.6285

Experian
P.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
888.397.3742

Transunion
P.O. Box 679
Fullerton, CA 92634
800.680.7289

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Protect Yourself

You should guard your financial and personal information to prevent identity theft. The easiest way to do this is to change your Online Banking ID and Password frequently. Your unique Online Banking ID and Password give you access to your Brookline Bank accounts. Should someone steal this information, they would gain access to your personal information as well as to your money. By changing your Password and ID, you can help keep your accounts safe.

Security Tips

  • Change your password frequently.
  • Select a password that would be hard for others to guess.
  • Never write down your password.
  • Never tell anyone your password.
  • Brookline Bank employees will never ask for your password. If someone claiming to be from the bank requests this information, please call us at (877) 668-2265 immediately.

How to change your Online Banking ID

If you would like to change your Brookline Bank Online Banking ID, do the following:

1. Sign in to Online Banking.
2. Click on the User Options button.
3. Scroll down to the "Modify Login Information" area.
4. Enter your new Online Banking ID in the space provided.
5. Click on "Submit".

Your new Online Banking ID must follow these rules:
 

  • It must be different than your current Online Banking ID.
  • It must be 6-25 characters in length.
  • It must consist of 1 or more letters, numbers are allowed.
  • The following "special characters" are allowed: + _ % @ ! $ & * ~

How to change your Online Banking Password

1. Sign in to Online Banking. 
2. Click on the User Options button.
3. Scroll down to the "Modify Login Information" area.
4. Enter your Current Password in the space provided.
5. Enter your New Password in the space provided. Please note that passwords are case sensitive.
6. Re-enter your New Password to confirm it.
7. Click on "Submit".

Your new Online Banking Password must follow these rules:
 

  • It must be different than your current Password.
  • It must be 8-25 characters in length.
  • Any combination of numbers, letters and "special characters" are allowed. 
  • The following "special characters" are allowed: + _ % @ ! $ & * ~
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