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Scam Alerts, ID Theft & Fraud

Home Scam Alerts, ID Theft & Fraud

Tips for Keeping Your Finances Safe

Protect Yourself from Fraud

1. Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN):

  • Never write down your PIN.
  • Memorize it as soon as you get it.
  • Do not disclose your PIN to anyone. No one from any financial institution, the police or a merchant should ever ask for your PIN.
  • Beware of phishing emails. These are emails that appear to be from a bank or online merchant asking for account information. Do not reply to them or click on any links. Peoples Bank, MasterCard or any other legitimate online merchant will never ask for your PIN or other personal financial information via email.
  • At an ATM or PIN pad, enter your PIN discreetly, shielding the keypad with your hand or body.

2. Review Your Account Regularly

Review your account statements or view your account activity through online banking or mobile banking to spot any unauthorized purchases.

3. Enroll in Online Banking, Mobile Banking, Mobile Alerts & eStatements

  • Online Banking allows you to view and monitor all of your accounts, anytime day or night.
  • Mobile Banking allows you to view and monitor your accounts on your smart phone.
  • Mobile Alerts help you monitor your account for suspicious transactions. Simply select the alerts that you want to monitor, and they will be sent to your mobile phone.
  • eStatements protect your personal information better than paper statements. Why? Because most identity theft occurs through the mail or improperly discarded paper documents containing sensitive information.

4. Review Your Credit Report

Go to or call any one of the three credit reporting agencies to receive your free annual credit report:

  • Equifax 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion 1-800-680-7289

5. Contact us immediately

If you spot any unauthorized charges, please contact Customer Care immediately at 815-936-7600.


Enhanced Security Chip Debit Cards

A microchip embedded in every card adds a layer of protection against fraud for purchases made at the point of sale. Information programmed into the chip is personalized for your account and each transaction generates a unique code, adding an extra safeguard against unauthorized use and counterfeiting.


Lost or Stolen Purse or Wallet Checklist

A lost or stolen purse or wallet is a goldmine of information for an identity thief. If you find yourself in this situation, here is a list of recommended actions you should take immediately:

  • File a report with the police and keep a copy
  • Report your lost or stolen Debit Card immediately
  • Peoples Bank Customer Care Dept: 815-936-7600
  • After Hours Number: 800-554-8969
  • Report the loss to the bank and credit card providers
  • Call the fraud departments of the major credit reporting agencies
  • Equifax 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion 1-800-680-7289
  • Ask each agency to put out a fraud alert on your accounts
  • Review your credit reports regularly
  • Report missing driver's license to the DMV
  • If your keys are missing change the locks on your home and car


Identity Theft Guide

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing white-collar crimes in the U.S. It is the fraudulent use of an individual's personal identifying information. Often, identity thieves will use another individual's personal information such as name, social security number, driver's license number, mother's maiden name, date of birth or account number, to fraudulently open new credit card accounts, charge existing credit card accounts, write checks, open bank accounts or obtain new loans.

Identity thieves use various techniques to steal the information. The following are examples of the most common techniques:

  • Impersonating victims in order to obtain information from banks and other businesses
  • Stealing wallets that contain personal identification information and credit cards
  • Stealing bank statements from the mail
  • Diverting mail from its intended recipients by submitting a change of address form
  • Rummaging through trash for personal data
  • Stealing personal identification information from workplace records
  • Intercepting or otherwise obtaining information transmitted electronically

Identity theft may go undetected for months and even years. Victims of identity theft may not realize that someone has stolen their identity until they are denied credit or until a creditor attempts to collect an unpaid bill.


Steps You Can Take If You Are a Victim

  • Contact the fraud department of one of the three major credit bureaus and request that the credit bureaus place a "fraud alert" and a "victim's statement" in your credit file. The fraud alert puts creditors on notice that you have been the victim of fraud and the "victim's statement" asks creditors not to open additional accounts without first contacting the you. The following are the phone numbers of the three national credit bureaus:
  • Equifax (800) 525-6285
  • Experian (888) 397-3742
  • Trans Union (800) 680-7289
  • Request from the credit bureaus a free credit report. Credit bureaus must provide a free credit report if you believe the report is inaccurate due to fraud.
  • Review the credit reports in detail to determine if any fraudulent accounts have been established. You should also determine if any unknown inquiries have been made. Unknown inquiries may be indicators of someone attempting to establish a fraudulent account.
  • Contact all financial institutions and creditors where you have accounts. Request that they restrict access to your account, change any password or close the account altogether, if there is evidence that the account has been the target of identity theft.
  • File a police report to document the crime.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") Identity Theft Hotline at (877) ID-THEFT (438-4338) or The FTC puts the information into a secure consumer fraud database and shares it with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. You may also refer to the following Web site – These resources can provide you with step-by-step assistance in handling identity theft.

Scam Alerts

Unemployment Fraud

Have you received an unemployment debit card or unemployment insurance letter, but have not filed a claim for benefits? If you answered yes, there are some important steps you need to take to report the fraud and help protect yourself. 

First, be sure to notify your human resources department immediately. Then report the fraudulent claim to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Click here to be directed to IDES identity theft report. 

Next, DO NOT activate the debit card that was mailed to you or contact KeyBank. 

Lastly, request your free credit report here and review it for any other fraudulent activity. 

Unemployment fraud can occur in other ways, too. You'll want to report a fraudulent claim to IDES if:

  • Your employer notified you of a claim for benefits when you have not been separated from employment.
  • You try to file a claim online but one already exists. 
  • The IRS sends you correspondence about unreported unemployment insurance benefits.
  • You receive a notice of state or federal tax offset. 

After you file your report of the fraudulent claim with IDES, the claim will be shut down. Any correspondence that you receive from IDES should be retained for reference when IDES calls you back. Rest assured that you are not responsible for paying the money back, and neither is your employer. If you are looking to file for benefits but a fraudulent claim was made, IDES will be able to tell the difference between the two claims. 

For more information or to see frequently asked questions, check out the IDES webpage for Reporting Unemployment Insurance Fraud.