Following an emergency, financial security may not always be top of mind. If your financial information and documents are lost after a storm or other natural disaster, there are additional steps you need to take.
1. Place a fraud alert on your credit report.
If your account information could be available in storm debris, you are at an increased risk of fraud. Contact any one of the three credit reporting companies to place a fraud alert on your credit report. They will tell the other two companies on your behalf.
A fraud alert ensures that a business must verify your identity before issuing credit. Make sure the credit bureau has your correct contact information so you may be reached for verification. The initial alert you set will be active for 90 days and can be renewed at that time. There is no charge to place a fraud alert.
Contact one of the three bureaus today.
2. Request credit reports from the three major credit bureaus.
You may do this online at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action or by calling 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact them directly.
3. Monitor your accounts for unusual activity.
Use online or mobile banking to monitor your accounts and report suspicious activity to your financial institution as soon as possible.
4. Change passwords if needed.
If you wrote passwords down on papers that may be missing, change your passwords as soon as possible.
5. Contact your financial institution.
If you have missing financial papers, check books or debit and credit cards following the storm, please contact your financial institution to discuss next steps. You can reach The Bank of Missouri at 888-547-6541.
Our heartfelt prayers go out to our Perryville community following the February 28th storms.