The Farmers & Merchants Bank hosted its first annual Shred Day on Saturday May 21 at its Lake Oconee Branch.
“With identity theft on rise, we wanted to offer not only our customers, but the entire community an opportunity to destroy any documents that could lead to their identity being compromised,” explains Lindsey Rickman, Marketing Director for Farmers & Merchants Bank. “Along with the bank shredding the unwanted documents, we also handed out goodie bags with information on Identity Theft and the steps that you need to take if you do become a victim.”
“Shredding your personal documents is the number one way to deter Identity Theft. This is one of the reasons that the bank offered Shred Day,” states Anna Mullis, Collections Officer and Assistant BSA Compliance Officer for FMB. Mullis continues, “Identity Theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission. This crime can affect millions of people and most victims are unaware of the theft until it is too late.” Below are Mullis’s suggestions to safeguard you and your family from identity predators.
There are three “D’s” in proper Identity Theft protection. Deter, Detect and Defend. Deter Identity thieves by safeguarding your information. This can be done by shredding your financial documents and paperwork, protecting your Social Security number, never giving out personal information over the phone, through the mail or the Internet and keeping all personal information in a secure place. Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements. Visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to order a free copy of your credit report annually. You can also complete the Annual Credit Report Request form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta GA. 30348-5281. You can download the form at ftc.gov/freereports. Defend against identity theft as soon as you suspect a problem. If you suspect suspicious activity place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit cards, close any comprised accounts, file a police report as well as report a complaint with the Federal trade Commission.
FMB’s first annual Shred Day was deemed such a success that the Bank plans on doing more in the future.
“With the positive response we received on Saturday this is definitely something we plan to do in the future,” boasted Rickman.
The next scheduled Shred Day will take place sometime in the Fall.
The Farmers & Merchants Bank serves Putnam County with offices in downtown Eatonton and Lake Oconee in Harmony Crossing. For more information on how Farmers & Merchants Bank can assist you in your financial needs or its first annual Shred Day, please call (706) 485-9941 or visit www.ibankfmb.com