How to Protect your Identity

Your identity is one of the most valuable things you own. It’s important to keep your identity from being stolen by someone who can potentially harm your good name and financial well-being. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name, address, social security number, credit card or financial account numbers, passwords, and other personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. While the words may sound like a foreign language — Phishing, Pharming, Vishing, Spyware, Dumpster Diving — they are actually techniques used by thieves to put your identity and finances at risk. And their attacks grow more frequent and sophisticated every year. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. According to US Department of Justice statistics, it’s now passing drug trafficking as the number one crime in America.

Danger Zones

The simple fact is you can protect yourself against most forms of identity theft. The first step is education. To make it easier to understand, we’ve divided identity theft into the “Danger Zones.” Take a few moments to learn about each of the Danger Zones and the steps you can take to avoid being a victim.

My Identity has been stolen

I’m a Victim of Identity Theft—What Should I Do?

1. Download our free Identity Theft Emergency Repair Kit It provides step-by-step instructions and the necessary forms to help restore your identity. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this PDF document.
2. Contact Texas Regional Bank and other related vendors immediately. Close any accounts that may have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
3. Place a fraud alert on your credit report with one of the three major credit bureaus. Also request to review your credit report for suspicious activity. A copy of your credit report is available free each year from

Equifax®: 1-888-766-0008
Experian®: 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion®: 1-800-680-7289

4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at
5. File a report with local police.

How your transactions are protected

Protect yourself against fraudulent transactions

Consumers are protected in a number of ways against unauthorized electronic transactions, but it’s very important to do your part. These protections do not apply to business accounts:

Report lost or stolen debit/ATM cards within two business days. If you lose your debit/ATM card (or other access device) report it immediately. By contacting your financial institution within two business days of discovering the loss, you limit your liability to $50. Waiting more than two business days to report the loss increases your liability up to $500.

Important! Review your statement every month. If you find an unauthorized electronic transaction, you have 60 days to report it to your financial institution in order to limit the amount for which you are liable. If you wait more than 60 days you become liable for the unauthorized transactions. So review your statements every month and report any suspicious activity immediately.

The security of your money and identity is as important to us as it is to you. Let’s work together to protect it.

Mobile Security

The most important step in Mobile Banking security is treating your mobile device like a portable computer. A few common-sense precautions will help protect you from fraud and I.D. Theft:

1. Set the phone to require a password to power on the handset or awake it from sleep mode. If it’s lost or stolen any personal information stored on the device will be more difficult to access. Whether you’re using the mobile Web or a mobile client, don’t let it automatically log you in to your bank account.
Otherwise, if your phone is lost or stolen, someone will have free access to your money.
2.Don’t save your password, account number, PIN, answers to secret questions or other such information on the mobile device.
3.Immediately tell your bank or mobile operator if you lose your phone. The sooner you report the loss, the better protected you are from fraudulent transactions.
4. Download and install antivirus software for your mobile device, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
5. Be careful when downloading Apps. Downloads should always be from a trusted and approved source and endorsed by your mobile device provider.
6. Avoid “free offers” and “free ringtones.” An email or instant message that offers free software downloads, such as ringtones, may contain viruses or malware.
7. Be cautious of e-mails or text messages from unknown sources asking you to update, validate or confirm your personal details including password and account information. Don’t reply to text messages from people or places that you do not know.
8. Treat your mobile device as carefully as you would your wallet, cash or credit cards.
9. Keep track of account transactions. Review your bank statements as regularly as possible to rule out the chances of fraudulent transactions. If you notice discrepancies, contact your bank immediately.
10. Only use Wi-Fi on your device when connected to a password protected hotspots. Turn-off any auto-connect features. They might cause your phone to log into insecure wireless networks without your knowledge.
11.Make sure you log out of social networking sites and online banking when you’ve finished using them.
12.Install operating system updates for your device as they become available – they often include security updates.
13.Before you upgrade or recycle your device, delete all personal/business details.

Mobile Banking is a useful tool that can simplify your life and make managing your money incredibly convenient. By using common sense, it can also be a safe and secure part of your daily life.

Social Engineering

“Social Engineering” is any method of theft that manipulates your human nature in order to gain access to your online financial accounts. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from thieves using Social Engineering techniques:

1. Don’t respond to ANY email or social network post or message that asks for money or confidential information. Thieves can hack email and social network accounts, and then pose as a friend or family member in order to gain your trust.
2. Don’t assume that an unsolicited phone call or email is actually from a trusted source. Thieves can research your purchases or donations, then pose as a business or charity you trust. Or, they may pose as law enforcement, a bank officer or another trusted authority figure. Just because they have bits of information about you or your past activities doesn’t mean they are legitimate.
3.* Verify, verify, verify.* If someone on the phone, or a message in your inbox, is telling you there is a problem with your online banking account, online auction account or credit card account, don’t give them additional information to “fix” the problem. Instead, hang up the phone or delete the email and check those accounts directly by logging in normally or calling a published customer service number.
4. Be conscious of what can be learned about you. Many kinds of online accounts, including online banking, use challenge questions as part of their security. Make sure you don’t choose responses that can be found online.
For example, don’t use your mother’s maiden name if it is mentioned on a social network profile; or the model of your first your first car, if you discussed it on a forum. Thieves are very good at digging out those details from online searches.
5. Remember, even the most innocent email attachments can be infected with computer malware. Common and popular files like PDFs, JPGs and spreadsheets can provide a platform for installing viruses or keystroke-logging malware on your computer. If you aren’t certain the file came from a legitimate business, charity or person, don’t open it without verifying. Call them and ask if they sent an email with an attachment.

The thieves are smart and very good at exploiting your honesty and natural cooperation. They can send email that looks like it came from a family member, or hijack your best friend’s social network account. Don’t let your good nature become your downfall.

The best way to avoid Social Engineering schemes is to be cautious and suspicious of ANY request for money, passwords, account numbers or other confidential information – no matter where it seems to be coming from.