Resource Center / Identity Theft
Identity theft is the theft of a person's financial information, esp. credit cards and Social Security number, with the intention of using that data to commit fraud and create a phony persona. Once a perpetrator is successful, they may use your personal information to open accounts, take out loans, or order new debit card and PIN’s on existing accounts.
Fraudsters are continually looking for new ways using current technology to obtain your customers’ personal information. Types of scams fraudsters use to obtain this information include:
"PHISHING" is the process of seeking to obtain personal information illegally through email or pop-up messages in order to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.
"VISHING" is short for "voice phishing". In a new twist, identity thieves are sending spam that warns victims that their credit union/bank account or PayPal accounts were supposedly compromised. However, unlike typical phishing emails, there is NO website address, instead the victim is urged to call a phone number to verify account details. Vishing also comes in the form of phone calls. Never call a number you receive from a spam email and certainly DO NOT enter/disclose any private information. If you want to call your Credit Union, use the normal phone number you regularly use, not the phone number you get in an email.
“MISHING” is a combination of the words mobile phone and phishing. If you use your mobile hone for online purchases and banking needs, you may be more vulnerable to mishing scams. Fraudsters may call your mobile hone or leave a message asking for personal information, or ask you to provide information to verify a purchase. It is especially important to note that using your mobile phone keypad or keyboard to type personal information may provide the fraudster with the ability to record the information you give them. Please DO NOT provide any personal information over a mobile phone.
"SMISHING" is a text-message fraud that occurs when criminals, posing as financial institutions, attempt to dupe mobile-phone users into sending personal information through text messaging.
1. Never give your personal information to people you do not know
2. Don’t be taken in by e-mail phishing scams asking for personal or financial information
3. Know who you are dealing with before providing personal information to mail order, telephone, or internet merchants.
4. Keep your passwords secure especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your home.
5. Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before discarding
6. Review your bank statement monthly and your credit report annually
These are some simple precautions you can take to help keep your identity safe. Please review the latest Fraud Alerts to kep up to date on the identity thieves most current “tricks”.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) enacted to protect consumers, was recently updated to include the right to a Free credit report every twelve months from any of the three national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion). If you obtain a free report in March or 2009, you would be eligible for another free report in March 2010.
A free Credit Report, available to you every twelve months, is one of the steps you can take to help protect against Identity Theft.
Equifax (800) 525-6285 www.equifax.com
Experian (888) EXPERIAN www.experian.com
TransUnion (800) 680-7289 www.transunion.com
What to do if you are a victim
1. Contact the fraud department of any one of the three credit reporting agencies to report the identity theft and request a “fraud alert”
2. File a police report
3. Contact the fraud departments of your creditors
4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Click here for more information.
Electric Cooperatives Federal Credit Union works with our Credit Card processor and Debit Card provider to help prevent potential card fraud. ECFCU uses the Falcon alert fraud system, this system uses previous card usage to help identify suspicious card purchases. In cases like these a representative from Certegy card services and/or a Credit Union representative may contact you and ask about the purchase made with your ECFCU card. If the account is being used fraudulently, we can prevent additional activity from occurring.
If one of our representatives needs to contact you they will provide you with the purchase information and ask you to verify the information they provide. We will NOT ask you to provide your number or account information to us over the phone. If you are not sure of the person contacting you please contact our office during working hours Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Members can help
Because the Falcon system relies heavily on accurate contact information, it’s important for you to keep information current. Please keep ECFCU informed or address and/or phone number changes.
Going on Vacation?
If you are planning to travel and use your debit or credit card in an area where you don’t usually use your card please contact ECFCU. Let us know where you are traveling, the dates you are traveling so we can notify Falcon. If you are traveling outside the continental US our representative may not be able to contact you, and if we are not able to reach you by phone your card will be temporarily blocked until we can confirm you are using the card.