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ID Theft Prevention

ID Theft

U.S. Department of Justice data show that identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in America. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes and to get credit in your name. Because we are committed to your financial safety, we feel you need to know the latest info to keep yourself and your accounts safe.

 

How fraudsters obtain personal information:

  • Dumpster Diving: Going through trash to find bills and papers with personal information on it.
  • Phishing: Posing as financial institutions or companies like eBay or PayPal and sending spam or pop-up messages to get consumers to reveal personal information. Also can be in the form of text messages asking for your personal information, or to call a fake phone number or visit a fake website.  Check out this short video on Phishing:  
  • Skimming: Stealing credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
  • Property theft: Stealing wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; preapproved credit offers; and new checks or tax information.
  • Spyware: Tricking victims into downloading illicit software when they open an attachment. Spyware records keystrokes to get credit card numbers and passwords.

 

How to prevent ID Theft:

  • Keep your PIN and passwords secret. Never let someone else enter your PIN for you.
  • Shred documents with personal information before you discard them.
  • Be suspicious of emails, texts, mail or phone calls that ask for your personal information, especially your financial information. If you suspect something might not be authentic, contact the company directly. Remember, Evansville Federal Credit Union will never send emails or texts asking you to submit your personal and/or financial information.
  • Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails – fraudsters are very clever and can disguise links and even create websites that may look identical to websites you know. Type in the web addresses you know in a new browser.
  • Always ensure you’re using a secure website when submitting sensitive information over the internet. To make sure you’re on a secure site, check the beginning of the web address - it should be https:// rather than http:// and it should have a lock in the bottom corner.
  • Maintain up-to-date anti-virus, anti-spy ware, and firewalls on your computer.
  • Regularly check your accounts and billing statements. Be suspicious of bills that don’t arrive as usual, unexpected bills or account statements, and calls or letters about purchases you did not make. Report any errors as soon as possible. 
  • Check your credit report annually. The consumer reporting companies are required to give you a free credit report each year if you request it. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1.877.322.8228 to order your free credit reports.
  • Never have your social security number printed on your checks.
  • When you write checks to pay on your credit card accounts, do not put the whole account number in the memo line.  Only memo the last four digits - the company will know the rest of the numbers and anyone who handles your check won't have access to your account number.
  • Watch this short video for tips on how to prevent Identity Theft:

 

 

What to do if it happens to you:

  • File a police report.
  • If your EFCU check book, debit card or Visa credit card is stolen, report it to the credit union as soon as possible.
  • Cancel lost cards immediately. Close accounts that have been tampered with.  As a precaution, you may want to make photocopies of both sides of the contents of your wallet and keep the copies in a safe place.  Should anything happen, you will have copies of your cards, complete with account numbers and contact information.
  • Contact the credit reporting agencies and ask them to place a fraud alert on your reports. With an alert in place, any company checking your credit will know your information was stolen and they must contact you by phone to authorize new credit. The three credit reporting agencies and their phone numbers are: Equifax - 1.800.525.6285; Experian - 1.888.397.3742; and TransUnion - 1.800.680.7289.
  • If a fraudulent account was opened or charged without your permission, contact the fraud department of each company:
    • Follow up in writing, with copies of supporting documents
    • Ask for verification that the disputed account has been dealt with and the fraudulent debts discharged.
    • Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.
  • Report fraud to the Social Security Administration  (1.800.269.0271) and the Federal Trade Commission (1.877.IDTHEFT).
  • If the crime involves mail, you can report mail fraud to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service  at 1.877.876.2455.

 

If you’d like to find additional information on ID Theft, visit the following websites:

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