ID Theft

  1. What is ID Theft?
    1. Identity theft is a federal crime (no one is safe or immune)
    2. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your knowledge or consent for financial or other gain
    3. Synthetic identity theft is when a criminal uses Social Security Number, account numbers, date of birth or other identifying data that can be combined with fake data to commit fraud or other crimes
  2. How does ID Theft affect me?
    1. Damage to your finances
    2. Tarnished credit rating and reputation
    3. Complications in many areas of your life:
      1. Drain or freeze your bank account
      2. Fraudulent purchases with your debit/credit cards
      3. New unauthorized accounts (bank, loans, cell phone, utility, credit card etc.) in your name
      4. Access governmental documents
      5. Receive medical care in your name/insurance
    4. Create false criminal records
    5. Tax-related problems:
      1. File a false tax return to collect a refund
      2. Get a job and have earnings reported as your income
  3. How to discover warning signs
    1. Many people won’t know they’ve been victims of ID theft until they’re contacted by the Credit Union
    2. Use early detection to limit the damage
      1. Unfamiliar transactions or errors on your statements
      2. Credit reports include unfamiliar accounts or charges
      3. Multiple credit report inquiries for loans, credit cards or services you didn’t initiate
      4. Collection calls or notices about debt that isn’t yours
      5. Bills, statements or other expected mail doesn’t arrive
      6. Bills or statements arrive for accounts you didn’t open
      7. Health insurance reports unfamiliar claims
      8. Medical records report a condition you don’t have
      9. IRS notice of income from an unknown employer
  4. Common Types of ID theft
    1. Traditional scams or tactics
    2. Steal or divert mail
    3. Dumpster dive
    4. Steal wallet or electronic device
    5. Hack into computer or shoulder surf (social engineering)
    6. Access info you enter online or send by email
    7. Pose as legitimate company and request info (phishing)
    8. Attach skimmer to ATM
    9. Take advantage of personal relationship
  5. Preventing ID theft
    1. Review your credit report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at least once a year
      2. Quarterly if you can space it out correctly
    2. Guard your personal information
      1. Know who you are dealing with (BBB)
    3. Check your statements
      1. Contact financial institution right away if you spot unauthorized charges
    4. Minimize and protect your mail
      1. Elect to receive secure online statement
      2. Don’t leave mail sitting in mailbox
    5. Avoid a false sense of security
      1. Always keep an eye on your possessions
    6. Only carry with you what you need when you travel
    7. Dispose of sensitive documents carefully
      1. Use a cross-cut shredder
  6. Fraud Prevention Tips
    1. Shred documents
    2. Carry minimally
    3. Record CC #’s in a safe along with phone numbers in case you need to report fraud quickly