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It Happened to Me.

Headshot of Ameris Bank President Lawton Bassett

As the president of Ameris Bank, I have access to an army of resources and information about practicing safe online habits. I like to think that I’m more informed about cybersecurity than the average Joe. Yet, it happened to me.

Rest assured- my Ameris Bank card was not hacked or compromised in any way. This occurred with an old credit card that I’ve had since college. How did it happen? A major company that I shopped at experienced a data breach and my information was hacked. With the simple swipe of a card, I unknowingly exposed myself to cybercrime in a matter of seconds. While there are numerous types of cybercrimes, there is a common denominator to all of them: They are a miserable hassle for the victims.

Unfortunately for me, this occurred before the new Ameris Bank Amenity Checking Account was available – and I didn’t have access to ID protection and restoration through my checking account. As a result, I did not have access to alerts, support or restoration services.

Like many of you reading this, I lead a full life, filled with family, faith and career. Finding the time to correct this was not easy. In fact, the average time it takes to fix an identity theft issue is seven hours, and more complex cases take months. What a frustrating process!

I decided to share my story for two reasons.

The first reason is to heighten awareness of cybersecurity threats. It happened to me, and it could happen to anyone. Be sure you’re using best practices when you surf the internet, especially when you make purchases online. Take a few minutes and browse Ameris Bank’s cybersecurity resources. You’ll be glad you did.

The second reason I am sharing this story is to encourage you to consider ID protection. I am proud that Ameris Bank now offers a checking account, Amenity Checking, that includes ID Protect® as well as other important benefits. This account protects, detects and restores – all benefits that I wish I had access to during my incident.

At Ameris Bank, the safety of your information is of the utmost importance. Since I have been personally affected by ID theft, I am now an even bigger advocate for constantly seeking new ways to help protect your identity, privacy and banking information. The trust of our customers is our most valuable asset, and I promise to actively seek to protect that trust.

– Lawton Bassett


Written by: Lawton Bassett

Lawton Bassett is the President of Ameris Bank. He enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family, including his wife of 22 years, Alisha, and their two children.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.