You can help protect yourself and your account information by following these simple steps:
• Delete suspicious emails from unknown sources without opening them.
• Never provide personal information over the phone or the Internet if you did not initiate the contact.
• Purchase a shredder and shred financial and personal documents you no longer need, such as credit card offers, pay stubs and utility bills, before discarding them.
• Carry only necessary identification in your wallet or purse. For example, do not carry your Social Security card.
• Do not print your Social Security number on your checks.
• When your Social Security number is requested, confirm that it is actually needed rather than some other identifier.
• Use online banking to pay your bills. The fewer personal documents sent through the mail, the less chance there is for identity theft.
• Closely monitor your bank account statements and credit card bills. Contact your financial institution immediately if there's a discrepancy in your records or if you notice something suspicious, such as a missing payment or an unauthorized withdrawal.
• Avoid using public computers, such as those in libraries, hotels or Internet cafes, to connect to online banking sites because of the risk of spyware residing on the public equipment.
• Reduce the number of credit offers you receive by contacting the National Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies at 1-888-5-OPTOUT (567-8688) or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com. You can opt out of receiving credit offers for five years or permanently.
REMEMBER: Eastern Bank will NEVER ask you for any private information (such as account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers) through an unsolicited email.