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Identity Fraud Protection

Alerus | JAN 26, 2018

What You Can Do and What Alerus is Doing

Identity fraud occurs when someone uses your personal information – such as your Social Security number, name, debit card number, or credit card number – without your permission to commit a crime. Unfortunately, it is the fastest growing crime in the U.S., with over 17.6 million victims in 2014 alone1.

Although there is no foolproof protection against identity fraud, it is important for you to know about the steps Alerus takes to protect customers from identity fraud as well as steps you can take to help safeguard your identity.

What Can You Do?

There are many steps you can take to help protect yourselves against identity fraud, some of which include:

  • Never give out your checking account, credit card, or Social Security number to solicitors or callers that you have not contacted.
  • Never give out your PIN for your debit or ATM card.
  • Check your accounts frequently using free online banking and contact us if you notice anything suspicious.
  • Receive and pay bills online instead of by mail with free online bill pay. The less sensitive information in your mailbox the better. 
  • Protect your information by not receiving paper copies of your account statements. With free eStatements just login to your online banking account and view or print the statement you need.
  • Shred documents that contain sensitive information including credit card solicitations, bank statements, insurance forms, and utility bills.
  • Provide personal information only on websites that are secure and only when you have initiated the contact. Always check for the lock icon in the bottom right of your screen, and check the browser to make sure that “https” (“s” indicates secure) is displayed in the website.
  • Don’t open email from unknown sources and use virus detection software.
  • Check your credit score. Review your credit score to identify discrepancies and catch possible fraud. Receive a free report once a year from all three major credit bureaus at
  • Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.
  • Guard against mail theft by promptly retrieving incoming mail and placing outgoing mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox.
  • Report any suspected fraud to your bank and the fraud units of the tree credit reporting agencies immediately. (TransUnion: 800.680.7289; Experian 888.397.3742; Equifax 800.525.6285).

What Is Alerus Doing?

Alerus offers a variety of ways to help you with the day-to-day management of your financial life. However, these tools (online banking, mobile banking and debit cards) also require us to be even more vigilant in protecting our customer data and private information. To that end, we continue to invest in the technology and staff that are so critical to this effort. We continually create and update policies and procedures for safeguarding customer data.

Further, Alerus provides Visa® debit cards with many layers of protection so you can shop with a sense of security. Built-in protections include:

  • Chip Technology – Your debit card includes a security chip, the latest technology designed to reduce fraud and protect against unauthorized transactions. Learn More.
  • Zero Liability Protection – You will not be liable for unauthorized transactions made on a lost or stolen personal debit card2
  • Fraud Monitoring – We analyze debit card transactions for suspicious activity and will contact you by phone if such activity is detected.
  • Verified by Visa® – An optional layer of protection, Verified by Visa® allows users to set up a password for online purchases. The service is free for Alerus debit card holders.

If you become a victim of identity fraud, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at or call them 877.438.4338.

1 Federal Trade commission Bureau of Justice Statistics
2 Zero-liability policy applies to transactions made on personal debit cards and processed by Visa®. ATM transactions and transactions using your PIN are not protected because neither are processed by Visa®. Zero-liability policy does not apply to business debit card transactions.

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Alerus offers a wide variety of checking account options for customers in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Arizona.

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