By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Financial Services | Issue: November 2009
Executive Vice President Jim Dilley and Advertising Creative Director Laci Jones promote Community Shred Day at American Heritage Bank.
American Heritage Bank will host a Community Shred Day on Friday, November 13. This is their way of helping you protect yourself against the fastest growing crime in the United States, identity theft. You are invited to bring personally identifying papers or files to any American Heritage Bank and get rid of the materials by having them shredded – the most thorough disposal method possible. Materials approved for shredding by the bank include paper and debit and credit cards. All paper clips and rubber bands should be removed before delivering your materials to be shredded.
All American Heritage Bank branches will be participating in the Community Shred Day, excluding their drive-through facilities and the Sapulpa Walmart branch. If you have questions or need more information, please contact your personal banker.
Drop off the materials you want shredded at the American Heritage Bank nearest you anytime during regular banking hours, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Friday, November 13.
Although you can find tax file retention recommendations online that range from three to seven years, the most practical recommendation for retaining your tax returns seems to be that they be filed permanently. Many people do, however, choose to shred tax backup files after a reasonable period.
American Heritage Bank is always vigilant in helping patrons deter fraud. This includes identity theft of any type. Executive Vice President Jim Dilley and Advertising Creative Director Laci Jones have a lot of good advice to help keep your personal identification as safe as possible. Some of their suggestions include:
• Be leery of any unexpected check you receive by mail. Take it to your financial institution if you are not sure what it is for, or if you suspect a possible scam.
• Don’t fall victim to any Internet notice that you have won something and that seems “too good to be true.” Most likely it is.
• Be extremely cautious whenever asked for your Social Security number or other banking or account numbers – over the phone, online, or by mail.
• Just hang up or report suspicious phone calls to authorities. Never respond to a suspicious phone call by giving out personal information.
• If your account receives a deposit and you don’t know why or from whom it came, bring it to the attention of your financial institution. They will either verify the deposit or possibly turn it in to authorities for further investigation.
• Use the Internet to check all of your personal account activity. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can phone your financial institution to check on account activity. Do this at least once a week. Both services are free of charge at American Heritage Bank.
• Home computers should be equipped with a good spyware or antivirus program. Many are offered at no cost through the Internet.
• Shred outdated or expired documents displaying personal or account information.
These are just some of the ways American Heritage Bank is trying to protect their customers and the community from fraud and identity theft. Even if you do not currently bank with American Heritage, you are welcome to take any suspicious letter, offer, or contact information to one of their branch locations. Visit the American Heritage website at www.ahb-ok.com to find more information on what to do if you ever fall victim to identity theft.
Their website will also give you contact information for their branches located in Sapulpa, Beggs, Tulsa, Cleveland, Glenpool, Kellyville, Kiefer, Berryhill, Yale, Mannford, Mounds and Sand Springs.
Remember to help protect your identity and take advantage of the American Heritage Bank Community Shred Day on Friday, November 13.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.