Identity theft occurs when your personal information is stolen with the intention to commit fraud or other crimes.
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when your personal information is stolen with the intention to commit fraud or other crimes. ID theft continues to be one of the most damaging types of fraud. Identity thieves use the information to open bank or credit card accounts, secure loans, establish utility services or to obtain government records such as tax returns.
Additional steps to prevent fraud:
- Shred all personal/financial documents instead of throwing them into the trash
- Monitor credit card and bank statements
- Protect personal electronic devices like smartphone, laptops and tablets
- Create complex PINs and passwords
- View your credit report for errors on a regular basis
- Destroy unused credit cards and ATM/debit cards
To learn more about Identity Theft, click here.
Phishing & Internet Fraud
Phishing is where e-mail messages are sent from a scam artist to try and steal another person’s identity. The scam artist will ask for your personal information or direct you to a website or telephone number to call where they will ask you to provide them with your personal information. Click here to learn more.
Online Account Access Safety Practices
Password warning: This warning should remind members of the importance in using strong passwords. Strong online banking passwords are at least seven to 15 characters in length, alphanumeric, case sensitive and require the use of at least on special character (e.g., !, @, #, $, etc.)
Security Software warning: This warning should alert members of the importance of protecting their home computers with an antivirus program and firewall. The warning should also address the importance of keeping the signature files up-to-date by downloading and installing the updates on a weekly basis.
Time and date of last access: Members should check the date and time their account was last accessed after logging into their account. This will help them detect unauthorized access to their accounts.
Public access computers: This warning should alert members of the risks in using computers that are accessible to the public to access their credit union accounts. Computers accessible to the public may be infected with viruses and/or malicious software, such as keyloggers.
Logout procedure: Members should always logout of online banking sessions by clicking on the logout button rather than simply closing the browser window or using the “back” key.
If you think you may have become a victim of identity theft, notify the following immediately:
Creditors and financial institutions: If a credit card or checking account has been used or opened illegally, contact your creditor or financial institution.
Legal and government agencies: Report the identity theft to police. If your mail was stolen or your address was used fraudulently, contact the US Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.
Credit reporting bureaus: Check with all three bureaus:
Annual Credit Report Request Service: 1-877-322-8228
Internet Crime Complaint Center: Click here to file a complaint
Federal Trade Commission: forward fraudulent email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more steps on how to keep you safe and help you recover through BALANCE.