How to protect your money, your credit record — and your sanity — if you become a victim of wallet theft

Imagine this: Your wallet is stolen. You immediately call your bank and credit card company to report the problem, close old accounts and open new ones. You even remember to call the Social Security Administration to notify them that you had your Social Security card in your wallet. At the end of the day, you feel fairly confident that the incident is behind you. Alas, it is not to be.

Weeks later you receive past-due notices on bills for merchandise you never purchased, and a few months later your application for an auto loan gets rejected because someone has used your name and Social Security number to open new accounts and run up thousands of dollars in debt.

The good news: Your actual liability for these unauthorized purchases is limited by law or industry standards.

The bad news: It’s likely that you’ll spend many frustrating hours trying to clear your name and straighten out your credit history.

Get prepared by reading the safety tips from FDIC Consumer News that can help to greatly reduce the chances of becoming a victim. And, yes, these recommendations may be time consuming. But if ever there was a clear cut case of “Forwarned is Forearmed” this is it. The time you spend getting prepared will be only a fraction of the time it would take to face the problem with no preparation at all.

If you have questions about how Peoples Bank helps fight unauthorized account use, you can go to our Online Security Center.  Or, feel free to call our Customer Service center, 877.802.1212 (between 8 am and 7 pm, Monday – Friday ) to learn more.