Valley National Bank is committed to helping protect our customers. As part of that commitment, we are providing this security alert to assist you in determining if you have been effected by the recent security breach of Equifax. Please read this notice carefully as your information may have been compromised.
This breach has not affected your Valley National Bank account information in any way, however, if you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.
Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May 2017 through July 2017. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.
Find out if your information was exposed. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can return to enroll. Write down the date and return to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You will have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
You can also access Frequently Asked Questions at the site.
Here are some other steps to help protect yourself after a data breach:
Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. All are free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what you can do.
Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
Check credit card and banking activity at least once a week. The sooner you detect a problem, the more opportunity you will have to stop it. Also, set up alerts on your bank and credit card websites so whenever your account is used — either by you or by a thief — you are notified by email.
If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify anyone seeking credit in your name is really you.
File your taxes early. As soon as you have the tax information you need, file your tax returns. This will help eliminate scammers filing for you. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
Monitor medical bills and insurance information to make sure someone isn't getting care by impersonating you. If they are, you may be vulnerable in more ways than simply losing money. Your medical records could end up with someone else's information, for example, blood type which could put you in a dangerous situation.
When using websites, use two-factor authentication to log on. When you are asked to set up security questions, lie for the answers, so that someone who knows something about you from social media won't get the answers correct.
If you get a notice from the IRS stating that you didn't pay enough taxes, don't ignore it. It's possible that someone has used your Social Security number to get a job, which means the taxes you are paying based on your own employment will look deficient. Please note, the IRS does not call people and ask for personal information over the phone. So if you get a call from someone saying they are from the IRS, hang up.
Since February of 1982, Valley National Bank has been a locally owned and operated full-service financial institution that prides itself on being one of the few remaining independent banks in northeastern Oklahoma.
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