Assure Your Customers About Identity Theft

When identity theft occurs, 9 times out of 10 the source of where the person’s identity was taken is never fully found. Trust and money are the two things financial institutions have as their products. Once a customer loses trust in your institution’s ability to protect their personal financial information, you’ll lose them as a customer.

Part of the building confidence in your institution is communication with your customers. Tell them what you’re doing to protect their information. While you can’t meet with every single customer individually, take the lead and reach out to them with your marketing vehicles. Use your statement stuffers, fliers, posters, and your website, and put the message out there. Market your efforts on protecting them like you would a banking product. Financial institutions can use this draft memo as a place to begin the education of customers about identity theft.

DRAFT MEMO TO CUSTOMERS FROM YOUR INSTITUTION:

Here at (NAME OF INSTITUTION) we treat your personal account information with great care and diligence. While recently you may have seen headlines on television or in the newspapers about identity theft and personal data including credit card numbers being taken from major merchants in the United States, our concern here at (NAME OF INSTITUTION) is keeping your trust. We want to tell you – we’re doing everything we can to keep your identity safe.

As a part of this action on our part, we’re offering you information on what identity theft is, how it may happen to you, and what are some of the safeguards you should be taking to protect your and your family’s personal information.

On our website you’ll find a link to the FTC’s comprehensive brochure on identity theft and prevention, “Deter, Detect, Defend: Avoid IDTheft.” We encourage all of our valued customers to take the time to read this important brochure and take action to protect your identity.

We are vigilant when handling your personal information, and take all the steps necessary to protect your information that you entrust to us. We do this to ensure your identity remains yours, and yours alone. We’re already asking for added information when you do do business with us, so please consider why we’re asking for this information. If you happened to be asked to produce identification, or a teller or call center representative asks for further authentication that you are the account holder, that’s one step more we’re taking to protect your identity from falling into the hands of an identity thief.

Please ask questions when you want to know why we’re asking for identification. We’ll be glad to tell you the reasons why.

As a reminder, you should always contact us if you receive an email that appears to come from our bank, or a phone call that asks for any personal information or account numbers, or passwords. If you have any doubt, remember if we call you, we won’t ask you to verify an account number or ask for a password. Call our customer call center or your branch to verify the call is legitimate.


About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.




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