Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and poses as you, running up charges, wiping out your account. It could take months or even years to learn you've been a victim. It can make it difficult to obtain loans, jobs, even affordable insurance rates... and worse, it could take years to clear your record.
Your credit union considers identity theft a serious threat, and continuously monitors its security procedures to protect you and your accounts. But total security is possible only with your help.
Here are steps you can take now to stop thieves from stealing your good name:
- Do not five out personal information, such as account numbers, on the phone or over the internet unless you have initiated the contact. Remember: if someone has a right to this information (such as your credit union), they should already have it... and shouldn't request it over the phone!
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately.
- Destroy unused financial solicitations before discarding them, and tear up other financial documents such as statements or receipts before discarding them.
- Guard your PIN numbers, and treat your ATM receipts with care.
- Make sure your mailbox is secure.
- Contact the major credit reporting companies at least annually to review your file. A copy o your credit report is available for a small fee. The three major credit bureaus are:
- Equifax 1-800-685-1111
- Experian 1-800-397-3742
- TransUnion 1-800-916-8800
If you have been a victim of identity theft or you know someone who has, take these steps immediately:
- Contact United Poles FCU to protect your accounts
- Contact your credit card companies
- Contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline 1-800-269-0271
- Contact the FTC Identity Theft Hotline 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338)