HELPFUL TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM ID THEFT
When you're writing checks to pay your credit card accounts, do not put the complete account number on the "for" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks.
- Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
- Have the toll free numbers in a safe place, but handy to get to so you know whom to call.
- File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation if needed.
- Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security Fraud line number. This helps any company that checks your credit to know your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
- Do not give out personal information on the telephone, through email, or over the internet unless you know whom you are dealing with.
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails.
- Keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up-to-date.
- Do not use an obvious password, such as birth dates, mother's maiden name, a pet's name, the last four digits of your Social Security number (SSN), etc.
- Shred all financial documents and paperwork before discarding them.
- Protect your SSN. Only give it out if it is necessary or ask to use another identifier.
- Keep your personal information in a secure place at home.
- Monitor your financial statements regularly and notify your financial institution immediately when you discover a potentially fraudulent transaction.
HERE ARE THE PHONE NUMBERS FOR THE 3 NATIONAL CREDIT REPORTING ORGANIZATIONS AND THE SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD LINE.
Here are some websites to report ID theft
http://www.ftc.gov/ (Federal Trade Commission)
www.usps.com/postalinspectors/ (mail fraud)
www.ssa.gov (social security number fraud)
www.ic3.gov/ (internet fraud)
www.fraud.org (fake check fraud)
Don't forget to keep your social security number in a safe place, and any papers or bank statements with account numbers and or personal information on them should be shredded. It is very important NOT to give people access to your information.
Email Scam Alert!
One of our members had received a suspicious email from a company claiming to be the Iowa Credit Union League, stating that they "had to lock the member's account because they have reasons to believe that it has been compromised ..." The email also contains a link for the member to click on to "confirm their identity by completing a secure form..." Please DELETE the message and DO NOT respond to these e-mails because it's an Internet scam known as Phishing.
Instead of utilizing the internet as a tool to trick web users, scam artists have now turned to the phone. With this scam, internet users don't have to be linked to a different website anymore, but are urged to call the phone number given in the email to enter their information. In some cases, people might receive unsolicited phone calls and information could be compromised that way also. The fraudsters are identifying themselves as calling from the credit union. The automated calling system is asking the members to enter their account number, expiration date and CVV2/CVC2 codes.
NOTE: It's always a good idea to use the phone number on the back of the bank card or credit card if you are asked to verify or inquire about your personal account information.
The purpose of phishing is to steal your identity. Phishers are scam artists who use mass emails pretending to be a trusted organization like Tradesmen Community Credit Union (TCCU) to ask for your personal information. Usually, the email will contain a link to another website that might look like a legitimate website where you are asked to verify or update your information such as DebitCard number, PIN number, Account number, etc...TCCU will NEVER email or call you to obtain for your personal information. We already have that information on file.
Uses text messages on cellular phones to bait receivers into providing secured information
This is an email-spoofing attempt that targets a person by name, seeking to gain confidential data. As with the email messages used in regular phishing, spear phishing messages appear to come from a trusted source.
Fraud Fighting Tips
- Never record your account number,PIN or password on paper and store in your wallet or purse.
- Always use a normal phone number that you regularly use to call your financial institution.
- Never give out your account number, PIN or password on the phone unless you initiate the call. (Tradesmen CCU will NEVER ask for this information over the phone unless you initiated the call.)
- Never send your full account number, PIN or password in an e-mail message or other written communications.