Identity Theft & Fraud



Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing types of financial fraud. Without stealing your wallet, a crook can steal your financial identity with as little information as your social security number. It is also called "account-takeover fraud" or "true-name fraud," and it involves crooks assuming your identity by applying for credit, running up huge bills and stiffing creditors - all in your name.

Effective 3/10/2015 - First State Bank and Trust Company, Inc. is committed to providing you with the most advanced fraud protection solutions available. Due to an increase in fraudulent debit card activity initiated by foreign merchants, we will be blocking transactions originating in all foreign countries. Please notify us in advance if you are traveling to or moving to a foreign country. Thank you.

CLICK for specific tips in each area:

The Internet

The internet is a wonderful and exciting way to communicate, learn shop and play. Like brick and mortar places, the internet is reasonably safe, but, as with brick and mortar places, the internet invites criminals to try to steal from the average person. You take precautions when going out in public to protect yourself and your identity therefore it makes perfect sense for you to take precautions while on the internet.

  1. The key to safety on the internet is to store as little as possible about your personal information including bank account, credit card and social security numbers on any website.
  2. Keep hand written list of all passwords to all internet sites you have an account with separate from the computer. Never store this list on your computer's hard drive as any format on your hard drive.
  3. Do not save credit card numbers on any internet shopping site unless required.
  4. 4. Passwords should contain both letters and numbers, preferably mixed up. Never use your social security number, bank account number, PINs or other sensitive information as passwords.
  5. Do not have Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Firefox or Safari (Mac-based browser) save any passwords for you for any website. If your browser asks you to save this information for future use, select "no."
  6. Disable auto complete from your browser.
  7. After each shopping session, or after each bill paying session or banking session, make sure you log out of the website and the close the browser, then open the browser again.
  1. The saying is true - "if it sounds too good to be true, it is." Do not answer emails that solicit money, especially from those who are in foreign countries and promise to repay you $x amount more than what you sent when they arrive.
  2. Delete emails that say you've won the lottery. Do not open them. Do not believe them if you do open and read them.
  3. Delete emails that have mostly symbols in the subject header, even if within the symbols something actually legible is there. Also ignore drugs by mail.
  4. Spoof (a.k.a FAKE) emails are everywhere. Two very common companies whose emails are constantly faked are Paypal and eBay. The best way to make sure that the message from Paypal or eBay is OK is to open a new browser window, go to their website, log in, and check the message center to see if you have any new messages. If you don't, you'll know that email was a spoof. If you do, then the email is legit. Don't click on the link in the emails either. It is better to verify the email is correct from the message center, then click on the link if there is one.
  5. If you are not expecting an attachment from a trusted source, don't open the attachment. Make sure your email does not open attachments automatically upon opening an email. Turn off the preview pane in your mail software.
  6. Make sure your antivirus software is always updated and is scanning all incoming emails. Routinely download the updates at least once a week.
  7. When emailing First State Bank & Trust or anyone else, do not include your account number, your PIN number(s) or social security number in the email. Call this information in.
  1. Never provide personal or credit card information over the phone, unless you initiated the call.
  2. Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry - this service is free for consumers. One tip, you have to call from the number you want to register. You can do this online at or call 888-382-1222. This will prevent most of the unsolicited calls to your phone, but it will not prevent them all.
  3. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors are still permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you've provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls. However, if a third-party telemarketer is calling on behalf of a charity, a consumer may ask not to receive any more calls from, or on behalf of, that specific charity. If a third-party telemarketer calls again on behalf of that charity, the telemarketer may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000.
  4. Even if you do not register with the National Do Not Call Registry, you can still prohibit individual telemarketers from calling by asking them to put you on their company's do not call list.
  1. Tear up or shred pre-approved credit offers, receipts and other personal information that link your name to account numbers.
  2. When you pay bills, don't put them in your mailbox with the red flag up. Instead, take them to the nearest post office box or post office to mail.
  1. Order copies of your credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies listed below once a year to ensure they are accurate or contact the Annual Credit Report Service for one free credit report each year.
  2. If you have been denied credit in the past 60 days, request a copy of the report - it is free, but you must ask for a copy.
  3. Keep an eye on your accounts throughout the year by reading your monthly/periodic statements.
  4. If your credit card or other bills are more than two weeks late, you should do three things: call the Postal Service, contact your bank and contact service providers.
  5. Don't write your personal identification number (PIN) on your ATM or debit card. Don't write your social security number or credit card account number on a check. Cover your hand when you are entering your PIN number at an ATM.
  6. Don't carry your Social Security card, passport or birth certificate unless you need it that day.
  7. Consider signing up for a credit protection service.


Take immediate action if you are a victim:

  1. Call your local police department - identity theft is a crime! Make sure to get your case #.
  2. Contact all three credit bureaus. Ask them to "flag" your account, which tells creditors that you are a victim of identity fraud. Also, add a victim's statement to each of your credit bureau reports that asks creditors to contact you in person to verify all applications made in your name. Call the fraud units of the credit bureaus at:
    • TransUnion Fraud Assistance Department 800-680-7289
    • Equifax Fraud Assistance Department 800-525-6285
    • Experian Fraud Assistance Department 888-397-3742
  3. Call the Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft hotline at 1 (877) IDTHEFT. The hotline is staffed by counselors trained to help ID theft victims. Check out the FTC Web Site at, which includes an Identity Theft Affidavit to help simplify the process of clearing up accounts opened by an identity thief.
  4. Notify your banks. They can help you obtain new account numbers for all of your checking, savings and other accounts. Be sure to pick a new PIN number for your ATM and debit cards. Close all of your credit card accounts and open with new account numbers.
    • To report your stolen or lost First State Bank & Trust ATM/Debit card, please call us during normal business hours (8-4 Mon - Thurs & 8-5 F) at (573) 333-1700. For after hours please call 866-546-8273 within the U.S. and 206-352-4990 outside of the U.S.
  5. Notify the Postal Inspector if you suspect mail theft - a felony.
  6. Depending on your situation, you may want to contact the Social Security Administration to get a new Social Security number @ 800-772-1213. You also may want to contact your telephone, long distance, water, gas and electrical companies to alert them that someone may try to open an account in your name.
  7. Maintain a log of all the contacts you make with authorities regarding the matter. Write down each person's name, title, and phone number in case you need to re-contact them or refer to them in future correspondence.