Identity Theft What is Identity Theft? Identity theft occurs when someone wrongfully obtains and uses your personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. A crook only needs your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, or mother’s maiden name to steal your identity.
How Do I Avoid Identity Theft? Protect and control your personal information. Identity thieves are not dumb. They are creative crooks that are always plotting new ways to get your personal information. These con artists will try to steal your identity online, through your mail, over the telephone, through your trash, and anyway they can. Be alert at all times. Don’t let these thieves steal your good name.
What Should I Do If I’m a Victim of Identity Theft?
Notify the Credit Union immediately
Contact the fraud departments of any of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. Equifax - Consumer Fraud Division at 1-888-766-0008 Experian TransUnion
File a police report. Make a copy of the report and submit it to your creditors and any others that need proof of the crime.• File your complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission or call their ID Theft hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).
Free Identity Theft Booklet The Federal Trade Commission offers a free comprehensive guide for victims of identity theft, including to-do lists, contact information, blank forms and sample letters. Click here to access an electronic version of the booklet or contact us for a paper copy.
Phishing There is a new type of phishing out there and it doesn’t require a rod or a reel. This type of phishing is a scam that uses emails to steal information from consumers.
Most commonly, the scammers will try to pass themselves off as a financial institution such as Citibank, VISA® or Bank of America. They use authentic logos in the email and even provide phone numbers for you to call to verify the need for this information. Phishers also appear to be getting bolder in their methods – apparently going so far as to tell potential victims that because of the huge problem with identity theft, they must verify all their personal information to protect their account. The email will threaten to suspend or even cancel your account if you don’t supply the requested information which may include social security number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, or address. Moreover, phishers do not only use financial institutions to mask their operations; retail stores, such as Best Buy have also been used in these phishing expeditions. What can you do? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are several ways to help protect yourself against this kind of fraud.
If you receive an e-mail that warns you that an account of yours will be shut down or interest suspended unless you reconfirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the e-mail. Instead, contact the legitimate company cited in the e-mail using a telephone number or web address you know to be genuine.
Avoid e-mailing personal and/or financial information.
Look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar before submitting financial information through any website. This icon signals your data is secure during transmission.
Review credit card and account statements as soon as you receive them for unauthorized charges.
Report suspicious activity to the FTC – send the actual spam e-mail to
You should know that most companies and financial institutions constantly warn consumers they will never ask for personal information through e-mail. In order to protect you, and because we have this information handy, Las Colinas FCU will never ask for your account numbers, balance information, mother’s maiden name, Personal Identification Numbers (PIN), or the like through email correspondence.