Understanding Identity Fraud

Educate Yourself. Protect Yourself.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information without your permission. They may open a credit card account, get a loan, or rent apartments in your name using your personal information. They also might access your bank or retirement accounts. You may not know that identity theft has happened until you see your credit report, are notified when trying to apply for credit, or get called by a debt collector.

How does it happen?

While there are different ways your personal information may be compromised, the act of stealing someone’s information generally falls into two categories:

  • Opportunistic situations – obtaining stolen or lost wallets or purses, misappropriated credit or debit cards, pre-approved credit applications that you’ve discarded
  • Intentional schemes – asking for personal information in emails, calls or letters (called phishing), pretending to be you to use your benefits, applying for loans in your name

What are some warning signs that you’re a victim of identity theft?

  • Bills that do not arrive as expected
  • Unexpected credit cards or account statements
  • Denials of credit that you did not apply for
  • Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
  • Charges on your financial statements that you don’t recognize
  • Notices from the IRS about unreported income or multiple tax returns
  • Calls from debt collectors
  • Incorrect information on your credit reports, including accounts or addresses you don’t recognize, or information that is inaccurate

How can you reduce your risk of identity theft?

  • Get tips to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
  • Sign up for IDProtect® when you have a First Mid Premier Checking account.

Learn about Premier Checking

Identity Theft Statistics: 35% of victims report financial loss; fraudulent calls commonly used to steal information; fraud reports rose 45% in 2020; annual cost of identity protection is $360 per individual or $480 per family; takes average of 6 months to recover from identity theft.

Don’t miss a chance to enter our drawing!

Each participating First Mid Bank & Trust location will be giving away one InfoGuard NX80P Cross-Cut Personal Shredder! All entries received between July 12 – September 30, 2021 will be entered in the drawing.

  • Shreds up to eight sheets of paper at a time or one credit card at a time.
  • Auto Forward / Reverse settings to help avoid paper jams.
  • Pull-out basket capacity of 2.5 gallons.

Visit your local First Mid Bank & Trust location, or view official customer drawing rules.


Infographic Data Source: ftc.gov in the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2020, and iii.org under Facts + Statistics on Identity Theft and Cybercrime. Additional identity theft tips and information from ABA Foundation.