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FTC Identity Theft Guide: Protect Yourself

There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from being a victim of identity theft, including:

  • Shred financial documents.
    Thieves will rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it. Don't discard your personal information without shredding it first.
  • Do a wallet check.
    Your Social Security number is one of the most valuable bits of your identity. Never carry your Social Security card. The same goes for a Medicare card, which carries the same number. If your driver's license has your Social Security number, have it changed. Use a marker to write a note on the back of your debit and credit cards asking that merchants request an identification card.
  • Review your bank and credit card statements regularly.
    Read your statements and balance your checkbook at least once a month, or more if you have online access. If you see a charge you don’t recognize or something suspicious, contact the credit card company or bank immediately. Although federal and state laws limit how much money victims of fraud or theft can lose, your protections may be stronger if you report the problem quickly.
  • Work with people you know.
    Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
  • Be cautious online.
    Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a web address you know. Use firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date. Visit for more information.
  • Create strong passwords.
    Don’t use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Keep your information secure.
    Keep your personal information in a secure place at home or in a safe deposit box, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having work done in your house.

Nothing can guarantee that you won't become a victim of fraud or identity theft. You should continue to be on the lookout for the signs of identity theft. If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, we have tools that may be able to help you through the process. Call our information center at 800.264.3613.

Protecting your Privacy

Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some of how your personal information is shared. See how Pinnacle protects your personal data.

Stop Email Fraud

Pinnacle developed a list of the Super Six questions you can ask yourself to help determine the legitimacy of any email.

Trusteer Rapport

Trusteer Rapport will not be supported in Tennessee after Dec. 31, 2018. Instructions for uninstalling the software are available here.