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Protect your identity

Protecting your identity doesn't have to be a chore. Follow our simple steps and stay safe.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information such as your name, date of birth, your PPS number, your mother’s maiden name, identity documents, bank details.

If criminals access this information they can use it to open bank accounts, apply for credit cards, request credit histories, and commit other types of fraud such as purchasing goods in your name. Information can be gained in many ways but usually from bins, intercepting post or tricking you by phishing/vishing/hacking etc. into handing it over willingly without even realising it.

The rise in social and business networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram etc., also offer increased avenues for fraudsters to operate. These sites can be practical and fun but at the same time there are some risks associated with placing valuable information about yourself online. The information posted is increasingly being sought by criminals to obtain products and services without your knowledge. The more information you give about yourself, the more vulnerable you become to fraud.

Tips for avoiding identity theft

You can cut your risk of identity theft if you follow some simple rules:

Keep your personal information to yourself

  • Don’t send or share personal information or security credentials via email or over the phone especially if you receive an unexpected request by email/text or phone call to do so.
  • Don’t save your personal documentation such as passport/drivers license on your device.
  • Don’t choose PIN numbers or passwords that are easy to guess, like your date of birth, pets’ or children’s names.
  • Memorise your PIN numbers and passwords so they aren’t written anywhere. Don’t share them, even with family and friends.
  • When confirming your identity our bank will only ever ask you for specific characters within your password and not your whole password. If in doubt, call your bank back on the phone number on your card or as advertised on their webpage.
  • Think very carefully before giving information to researchers or charity collectors.
  • Protect mail left in communal areas of residential properties.
  • Consider secure mail services if sending confidential documents.

Keep and destroy your information safely

  • Store your personal information in a secure place.
  • Destroy any documents with personal information on them by shredding, cross shredding is recommended. This should include receipts, pre-approved applications, bank statements, insurance renewal notices and bills among others.
  • Cut up your expired bank cards.

Keep yourself and your bank informed

  • Check your bank statement regularly and notify us immediately if you notice anything suspicious. You can use your online banking to do this regularly.
  • If you don't get a Bank or Credit card statement or any other expected financial information, inform your bank or card issuer as soon as possible.
  • Keep your personal details up to date, so we can contact you as quickly as possible.
  • Make sure all your mail is redirected if you are changing address. If you haven’t received a bank or credit statement, tell your financial institution immediately.
  • Get a copy of your credit reference file from the Irish Credit Bureau, to make sure that everything is in order (this may cost a small fee).

Stay safe online

Using up-to-date good quality internet security software is a must but you should also protect yourself in other ways:

Your Banking

  • Free Wi-Fi is readily available but it may not be secure even when it requires a password. If you use public Wi-Fi you are risking your online identity and your banking details.
  • Keep a record of all your online transactions.
  • Make sure that you conduct your financial transactions only on a secure webpage using encryption. Look for a closed padlock in the status bar, and see that the URL starts with a “https” instead of just “http”.
  • Change passwords regularly– we recommend that you use a separate email address and device for your banking needs.
  • Be aware of unsolicited emails asking for bank card or PIN numbers and never divulge this information.
  • Be aware of phoney emails/websites that try to trick you into giving personal information including mobile telephone numbers, mother’s maiden name and date of birth etc. Try to use a known web address.
  • Never send money to or share the details of a money transfer with someone that you do not know.
  • Where a site shows the last time that you logged in, always check that this reflects the last time you accessed the website.
  • Always type in the web address and logon to your internet Banking from there. Avoid saving links to your favourites or clicking on non-PTSB sites or emails as they may be compromised by fraudsters and bring you to a fraudulent website.

Important Information: Remember, PTSB will never call, email or text you asking for: your account details, your Open24 number, Internet Password, Personal Access Number (PAN), your Visa Card CVV number or One Time Passcode. If you ever get an unsolicited phone call, email, text message or pop-up asking for any of these please contact us on 0818­ 50­ 24­ 24 or +353­ 1­ 212­ 4101.

Your Device – Computer/phone

  • Make sure you have the latest security updates on your computer.
  • Install a personal firewall to protect your device contents.
  • Install an anti-spyware programme, and password protect your device.
  • Never leave your device unattended when you are logged into your account.
  • Take extreme care when allowing applications access to your device particularly if you are requested to download applications that give others access to your device i.e. PC, phone etc.
  • It is important to have your anti-spyware, spam filters and anti-virus software on your device. Keep it up to date!
  • Avoid using the internet in public places, like internet cafes.
  • Keep your passwords private and change them often.
  • Always clear your browser caches regularly.

Your Identity

  • Be extremely cautious about the type of information that you make public.
  • Never post your personal details such as telephone number, date of birth, address or employment details on Social networking sites.
  • Learn about site security privacy features on social networking sites and set them to a level you are comfortable with. Be careful who you allow to be your ‘friend’ or join your network.
  • Take extreme care when allowing applications access to your pages.
  • You should never hand over your username, password, account number or any other personal or confidential information.
  • Take care with any information you post on Social Media. Don’t post information that could be used by criminals e.g. address. workplace details, name of school, date of birth, job title etc.
  • Be careful when talking to or messaging strangers– you don’t know who they really are and never send money to an unknown source.

Shopping online

  • Keep a record of all your online transactions
  • Opt out where you can - companies may send you marketing mail or share your details in mailing lists with other companies.
  • Check the URL when you are providing payment details for an online purchase; the "http" should turn into a "https".
  • Check the lock symbol on any website's homepage to see if it's genuine before entering your security details.
  • Be aware that purchases from private sellers may be more at risk than those from registered businesses. Buy from well-known companies where possible.
  • Take care when downloading files such as music, software etc. These files may be infected or have “malware” programmes attached.

Emails & Texts requesting information

  • Be skeptical – It’s better to err on the side of caution. Unless you are 100% sure that a particular message is genuine, assume it is not.
  • Check the email address. Is it the same as the email address you usually receive emails from, or is it just similar?
  • Be careful if there is an urgent call to action in the email such as ”Security Alert”, “Your account has been blocked”, “If you don’t respond your account will be closed”. Criminals want you to act quickly and without taking due care.
  • Do not click on links, download files or open attachments in an email unless you are sure of its authenticity.
  • Only open an attachment when you are expecting one, when you know what they contain and you are confident it is from a genuine source.
  • If you are unsure, pick up the phone, call a secure number from a legitimate source and validate the message. Remember, a genuine individual/company may have had their email compromised.
  • If your browser has a pop-up blocker, you should use it.
  • Do not copy any website addresses from a pop-up window into your browser, as a legitimate company will not ask you for your information in a pop-up window.

Important Information: Remember, PTSB will never call, email or text you asking for: your account details, your Open24 number, Internet Password, Personal Access Number (PAN), your Visa Card CVV number or One Time Passcode. If you ever get an unsolicited phone call, email, text message or pop-up asking for any of these please contact us on 0818­ 50­ 24­ 24 or +353­ 1­ 212­ 4101.

How do you know you’ve been a victim of identity theft?

If any of the following apply to you, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

  • You receive letters from banks, solicitors, debt collectors, or finance companies that are not yours or that you did not previously know about.
  • You’re refused a financial service, even though you have good credit history.
  • You receive invoices or bills from goods or services you’ve never ordered.
  • You apply for a state benefit, but you are told that you are already claiming.
  • You are billed for a mobile phone contract that has been set up in your name without your knowledge or consent.
  • You have lost or had an important document stolen such as your passport or driving license.
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