Protecting your financial security starts with protecting your identity.

Not only is identity theft one of the fastest growing crimes, it can be one of the hardest to recover from if you become a victim. By stealing your personal information, thieves can make fraudulent purchases, borrow money and wreak havoc with your credit rating. Protect yourself by reviewing the checklist below.

How to lower your risk for Identity Theft:

  • Sign up for Online Banking with North Shore Bank to regularly review your bank accounts for possible fraud any time and any place you have Internet access.
  • Never respond to unsolicited requests for your Social Security Number (SSN) or financial data, particularly over the phone or in response to an e-mail.
  • Shred all credit card and ATM receipts (including pre-approved credit card offers received in the mail, documents that may contain your bank account numbers, cancelled checks, old statements, etc.)
  • Check all credit card and bank statements for accuracy each month. Easily check your bank statements at any time with Online Banking.
  • Avoid using obvious personal ID (PIN) and access codes such as cat, dog, car, or racecar.
  • Obtain and review a copy of your credit report every year and review it for accuracy.
    You can obtain one free credit report each year at
  • When making purchases online, be sure the site is secure by ensuring the site's URL begins with the prefix "https."
  • Make online purchases using a credit card.
    This helps insure purchases and limits your liability. Use credit cards with low spending limits.
  • When writing a check to pay your credit card bill, do not write your complete credit card account number on the "Memo" line. Instead, write only the last four digits of the account.
    This is sufficient for your credit card company to determine your account.
  • Never have your Social Security Number printed on your checks. Also, instead of providing your home phone number and address, use your work phone number and PO Box, if possible.
  • Photocopy BOTH sides of all credit cards, licenses and other important documents that you carry in your wallet, and store them in a safe place. In the event your wallet is lost or stolen, you will need this information to cancel your cards. It is especially helpful to have quick access to the toll-free numbers you will need to contact these companies.
  • Never carry the following items with you, unless necessary:
    • Social Security Card
    • Any card or document that displays your Social Security
    • Number (i.e. health insurance card)
    • Birth Certificate
    • Passport

Your best defense against identity theft is to remain alert. If you are ever denied credit for no apparent reason or stop receiving regular financial statements, look into the matter immediately.

What to do if you become a victim:

  • Contact your local police department and file a report.
  • Contact your North Shore Bank branch.
  • Notify credit card companies and any other party with whom you have a financial relationship.
  • Notify credit bureau fraud units.
  • Place a fraud alert statement on your credit report.
  • Establish a password for future telephone inquiries on credit card accounts.
  • Request bi-monthly copies of your credit report until your case is resolved (free to fraud victims).
  • Report check theft to check verification companies.
  • Check with post office for unauthorized Change of Address requests.
  • Follow up with all contacts you make in writing. Keep copies of all correspondence.


Where to Get Help

Credit Reporting Bureaus:
Social Security Administration: Helpful Reference Phone Numbers: Note: Some automated pop-up ads that you may encounter may not be generated by North Shore Bank and direct you to paid services. Please be mindful before acting on such notifications. Instead, we encourage you to take advantage of your free credit report options that are mentioned above.


Learn more about Identity Theft by visiting:



Frequently Asked Questions