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Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Resources and What You Should Know.

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.

We’ve compiled these resources to help you prevent or respond to Identity Theft.

What to Do If You Think You have Been the Victim of Identity Theft

  1. Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts, and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge. Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit when disputing new unauthorized accounts.
  2. File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
  3. File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations. Filing a complaint also helps the FTC learn more about identity theft and the problems victims are having so they can better assist you.
  4. If you are the victim of computer or Internet fraud, contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.ifccfbi.gov or the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov

Best Practices on How Not to be a Victim of Identity Theft

  • Purchase a paper shredder and shred all pre-approvals and any other information or receipts being discarded that lists personal financial information. Sign up for PremierOne Credit Union eStatements to receive your monthly account statement securely online.
  • Store financial information securely at home.
  • Read news reports about recent and current scams.
  • Don't carry all credit cards.
  • Be wary of the disposition of receipts that do not feature truncated (suppressed) account numbers.
  • Understand encryption and the Internet before buying online and sign up for a plastic card authentication program, such as Verified By Visa.
  • Review your credit report annually.
  • Refuse to give out credit card, address, or other personal information to callers whom you don't know. It's best not to give out this information whatsoever unless you initiated the call and know with whom you are speaking.
  • Never respond to e-mails from any financial institution or lender when they request your account information, regardless of how official-looking the e-mail might appear. Reputable financial institutions or credit card processors (such as VISA) would never ask you to forward this information to them. PremierOne Credit Union will never ask you for your eBranch password.  We may request your user ID only in order to assist with any issues reported by you.
  • Don't print your driver license or Social Security number on your checks.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
  • You can reduce your risk further by setting automated account alerts in eBranch, using the latest antivirus software on your PC and other devices, and setting strong phrase-based passwords.
  • Be wary of promotional scams. Identity thieves may use phony offers to get you to give them your personal information.
  • Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work.
  • If victimized, consumers should contact their local police, the FTC, and the three major consumer-reporting agencies as soon as possible.
  • To report suspicious account activity to PremierOne Credit  Union or if you believe your account information may have been compromised contact us as soon as possible.

Consumer Rights to Free Credit Reports

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) of 2003 gives all Americans the right to check their credit report for free. Consumers can get a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months from the three major national credit bureaus. Request your free credit report:

Online

www.annualcreditreport.com 

By Telephone (toll free)

1.877.322.8228 

By Mail

Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

If after going through your credit report, you notice something inaccurate, there are steps you can take.

You Discover or Suspect Fraud
  1. Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file and follow additional instructions listed with the fraud departments.
  2. File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
  3. File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, to help with investigations and future identity theft prevention.
There is an Error on Your Report

Contact the credit bureau with the inaccuracy directly and file a report. Your claim will be reviewed by the individual bureau, and investigated directly with the source of the dispute. A response will usually be sent to you within 30 – 45 days.

You Want to Improve Your Report

Contact a Relationship Officer to discuss some ways to help improve your credit report. While there are probably some things you can do immediately to improve any problem areas, the only thing that fully cleans up your credit report is time. With informed guidance you can be sure you are headed in the right direction.

The Three Major Credit Bureaus

Equifax
1.800.685.1111 
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian
1.888.EXPERIAN (397-3742)
P.O. Box 2002, Allen TX 75013

TransUnion
1.800.888.4213
P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022

Security Information and Updates

General Information

Beware of Vishing, Smishing, and Phishing: The latest attempts to gain your information include mobile phone text messages whereby you must call a phone number and provide confidential information.

Vishing

For example, if you receive a text that says "Dear credit union bank customer, we regret that we have had to lock out access to your account. Please call 901.562.1204 to access your account." If you respond, an automated response may request your credit card number. This is referred to as “Vishing” because the fraudsters are Voice Phishing for your information. Whether by mobile phone or email, do not call and leave confidential information on a message or provide this information if you did not initiate the request.

Smishing

Some mobile text messages warning that their bank (or credit union) account has been closed due to suspicious activity provide a link in the text. The link causes a Trojan to be installed in the cell phone or other device.

Phishing

An email or phone call that requests a response or action to contact an institution by email, Web site or phone, and provide account or credit card information. Even seemingly legitimate Web sites can be fraudulent.

Legitimate institutions DO NOT contact you and ask for your account or confidential information. NEVER respond to any request like this unless you initiated the request yourself.

 

 

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