Security Center

Don’t be a victim of identity theft, it can affect you not only financially but emotionally. If you think your identity has been stolen, there are ways to recover.

 Fraud Prevention and Security Tips

Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Niles reminds its customers that they should be vigilant about fraud and security. You are responsible for taking action to protect your computer systems. Fraud prevention requires a continuous review of your policies and practices, as the threat evolves daily.

If you receive a suspicious text, email or telephone message asking for your personal or account information, PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND. If you are unsure if an email, text message or phone call is valid, do not respond and contact the bank directly in person. Do not use any phone number provided in the suspicious message.

Examples of ways to spot a scam.

  • Hover over links to view URL before clicking
  • Look up site on the Better Business Bureau website
  • Look for Padlock in address bar before entering private information
  • Check email addresses for unusual domains
  • Never share private information through email also look for simple grammar mistakes
  • Only give private info when you make the phone call to the official number first

Signs your identity may have been stolen:

  • Unexplained withdrawals from your bank accounts
  • Bills or other mail not being delivered to you
  • Unfamiliar accounts on your credit report
  • Debt collectors calling about debts that don’t belong to you
  • Notice that your information was compromised from a breach at a company where you do business

If you are a Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Niles customer and have recently provided your personal or banking information in response to one of these suspicious emails, text messages, or phone calls claiming to be affiliated with any bank, call us immediately at 330-652-2539 so that we can place additional protective measures on your accounts.

What is identity theft?

There are various types of scams and ways that a criminal may use account information fraudulently, normally for account takeover only. Account takeover occurs when a fraudster obtains account information to perpetrate fraud on existing accounts. Account takeover is very different from identity theft.

Identity theft occurs when someone uses personal identifying, like a name or Social Security number, without permission to commit fraud or other crimes, such as opening new accounts, take out credit and /or purchasing goods or services in the victim’s name.

Ways that identity theft can be perpetrated:

Dumpster diving / shoulder surfing.

Fraudsters rummage through trash or over people’s shoulders while on a computer looking for personal information.


Fraudsters pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get victims to reveal their personal information.

Old-fashioned stealing.

Fraudsters steal wallets and purses, bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records or bribe employees who have access.


The use false pretenses to obtain your personal information by posing as financial institutions, telephone companies and other sources.

What can I do to protect myself?

It is very important for consumers to take action to protect their identities. Below are a few suggestions we provide for protection.

Take advantage of internet security features.

Passwords and other security features add layers of protection if used appropriately. Maintain antivirus software and firewall on your computer.

Treat your trash and mail carefully.

A thief may pick through trash and recycling bins to capture personal information. Always shred personal documents.

Select intricate passwords.

Use passwords on credit cards, bank accounts and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information.

Verify sources before sharing information.

Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the internet unless you initiate the contact and verify with whom you are communicating.

Safeguard your personal information.

Protect purses and wallets at all times. Always keep your personal information in a safe place.

Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts.

Look for any charges you do not recognize.

Protect your Social Security.

Don’t carry your Social Security with you.

What can I do if I think, or know, that my identity has been stolen?

To minimize the extent of the damage, you should take action as soon as possible.

Contact companies and banks where you have accounts.

Inform them that someone may be using your identity.

File a report.

File a report with the police so you have an official record of incident. 

See the FTC’s instructions for how to place a fraud alert.

Contact credit reporting companies.

Check your credit report with Equifax, Experian and Transunion to see if there has been unexpected or unauthorized activity. Place a free, one-year fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting one of the three credit bureaus. The company must tell the other two. 

If you've determined your identity has been stolen, take immediate steps to mitigate the damage.

Once you’ve taken steps to report the identity theft, you’ll be on the road to repairing whatever damage may have been done. Depending on your situation, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself. To get a complete list of what to do once these initial steps are completed, visit

Take these immediate initial steps:

Get on the phone.

Call the fraud departments of all the places where you have reason to believe a fraud has occurred or will likely occur, including businesses you shop with, credit card companies, and your bank. Tell them that your identity may have been stolen and you’d like to close any new (fraudulent) accounts that were opened in your name without your authorization as well as freeze the accounts that are actually yours. Change all of your login information, PIN numbers, and passwords.

Place a fraud alert with a credit bureau.

Contact one of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. A fraud alert is free and will make it more difficult for someone to use your identity to open accounts. You should receive a letter from each of the credit bureaus that confirms that they place a fraud alert on your file. Once this is in place, get a copy of your credit report from one of the bureaus, review it, and track any account or transaction you have no knowledge of.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Visit to fill out a complaint from using the FTC Complaint Assistant. The step-by-step form asks questions like which accounts were misused (credit cards, government documents, internet accounts, etc.), details about the theft such as when you noticed that someone may have stolen your identity, and whether you’ve contacted any credit bureaus. Give as many details as possible and make sure all the information is accurate, because the information you supply will comprise and Identity Theft Affidavit. Once you fill out your Identity Theft Affidavit, provide copies to businesses, credit card companies, and your bank, and request that they send you a letter confirming you aren’t liable for any of the fraudulent activity.

File a police report.

Report the identity theft to your local police department, and retain a copy of the police report.

Bring with you:

  • Your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit
  • A photo ID
  • A piece of mail with proof of your address, like a utility bill
  • Any other proof you have of the theft, such as a credit card bill that reflects the fraudulent charges
Additional information and guidance to protect against identity theft:

Experian, 888-Experian (1-888-397-37542)

TransUnion, 1-888-909-8872

Equifax, 1-800-685-1111

Federal Trade Commission

United States Department of Justice

Social Security Administration

Need More Help?

Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Niles always takes extra measures and is committed to doing everything in our power to keep your personal and financial information protected and secure. Call us immediately @330-652-2539, if you feel you have been a victim of identity theft.

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