Resources » Internet Banking Awareness and Education Program Retail/Consumer and Business/Commercial Clients » Types of Identity Theft

Types of Identity Theft

Mailbox Theft

Only use secured mailboxes to deposit your mail, such as those provided by the post office. If your home mailbox is unsecured, consider changing it to a locked box with a mail slot to ensure your incoming mail is secure. Collect your mail promptly, and if you don’t receive an expected piece of mail, such as a billing statement, make a call to the company asking when they sent it out and make sure no unauthorized change of address has been made. For your eligible accounts, consider switching to online billing statements. If you have reason to believe your information was stolen, report the incident immediately through the following steps:

If you believe you are a victim of fraud:

Call Sterling Bank immediately Fraudulent activity on your Sterling Bank account, lost or stolen checks, or debit card; suspicious credit card transactions
If you suspect identity theft:
You may find yourself in one or both of the following identity theft situations: 1) A criminal used your existing account(s), such as your checking account; 2) A criminal opening new account(s) in your name.

Call Sterling Bank immediately


Report the criminal activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Consider filing a complaint with the FTC if you suspect your personal information has been compromised. Call the FTC Hotline at 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338) to speak with a trained counselor or you can submit a complaint on their website,
File a report with your local law enforcement Contact your local police department, advising them you want to file a report involving Identity Theft. Give a copy of the FTC theft complaint to the police when you file the report. You may contact your State Attorney General’s office to inquire if an Identity Theft policy report is required in your state.
Contact the major credit bureaus Upon suspicion of your personal information being compromised, contact the credit bureaus immediately to have a fraud alert placed on your profile. Temporary fraud alerts will remain on your credit report for 90 days. Credit bureaus are required to respond to your request for a fraud alert. For more information about the steps to take regarding credit reports, contact: Equifax:           1-800-525-6285 or
Experian          1-888-397-3742 or
Transunion      1-800-680-7289 or
Contact the company If you suspect unauthorized charges, contact the company directly. Discuss options with the company representative. Always ask the company to send you an official notification of fraudulent account activity and discharge of the unauthorized transactions/debt in writing. If a new account has been opened, you will want to request the account is closed and ensure they have alerted appropriate departments.

Continue to review all charges and transactions appearing on your account statements and online account activity. Immediately report any discrepancies.


Is there someone hovering around you for no apparent reason? Do you have enough personal space, or is someone crowding you, such as in a busy checkout line? Before you begin to use your debit card, take a look around you. If you feel uncomfortable completing the transaction, don’t. Additionally, be sure to secure your wallet in a safe place, such as an inner zipped pocket, especially when securing your card back into place in public.


Make sure that your computer has a firewall installed. Firewalls are designed to block unsolicited attempts to access your system. If you do have a firewall, ensure it is turned on; if you do not have a firewall installed, you can purchase one. Make sure that you have antivirus software installed and it is updated regularly. Run the antivirus software on a regular basis to identify and remove viruses from your computer. Do not open any attachments or go to any links from a source that you are not familiar with. Delete any unsolicited emails with attachments and links immediately. 

Insider Threat

Make it a point to know how any organization requesting your personal information is securing it. Safekeeping customer information is of the highest priority at Sterling Bank. We will continue to maintain high standards to ensure that your information is kept private and secure.


Skimmers are devices used to read the magnetic strip from your credit or debit card. They can be used on any ATM type of device, such as a gas station or restaurant. The devices are often well-concealed. Criminals typically use the information gathered within 24 hours. It is important that you regularly check your account balances and reconcile them with purchases made. Always cancel a transaction if you feel uncomfortable in any way.

Theft by Phone

Organizations and financial institutions typically do not have a reason to call unexpectedly to ask for you to verify your personal information. If you feel that it may be a legitimate call from a company, request to call back through the listed number for the organization. Use a phone or internet listing for the company to call back. When in doubt, do not provide any information.