Protecting against identity theft

Protecting against identity theft

Identity theft occurs when someone steals another person’s private identifying information and uses it for fraudulent purposes. The following tips can help prevent identity theft.

Protect your paper records.

  • Bank online with First Republic to pay bills electronically and receive paperless statements. This will reduce the chances that your paper statements and other sensitive paper documents fall into the wrong hands.

  • Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. Many identity thieves obtain information from stealing mail and garbage (e.g., dumpster diving).

  • Know your billing and statement cycles for all your financial service providers. Contact the provider’s customer service department if you stop receiving your regular bill or statement.

  • Make photocopies (front and back) of vital information you carry regularly and store them in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box. Then, if your purse or wallet is lost or stolen, your contact information and account numbers will be readily available.

Monitor your credit.

Review your credit report periodically to help detect suspicious or unknown transactions.

  • Request a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus at

  • Initiate a credit freeze across the three bureaus:
  • Review your children’s credit reports.

  • Enable fraud alerts with all three credit bureaus to detect and help prevent fraudulent activity.

Monitor your email account.

  • Use unique passwords for your email accounts. At a minimum, use different credentials (username and password) for the email account associated with online banking.

  • Enable multifactor authentication for your email account for an added layer of protection.

  • Never share your email password with anyone. If you suspect that someone may have accessed your email account (e.g., you stopped receiving expected emails), change the password as soon as possible.

  • If you receive an email stating that your password, mailing address, email address or security questions were changed on your account and you did not make those changes, contact your financial institution immediately using a verified phone number.

Follow our identity theft to-do list.