May 28, 2013 · Security

How to Protect Yourself from Account Takeover

Identity theft is in the news a lot lately. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing types of financial fraud in the U.S. Like any scam, identity theft may be carried out in a number of ways. One of the most common is Account Takeover.

Account Takeover occurs when a fraudster obtains your personal information and uses it to take control of existing bank or credit card accounts and carries out unauthorized transactions against them.

Fraudsters use a variety of techniques to get personal and financial information typically needed for Account Takeover:
  • Hacking – Cracking a password and other protective codes on computers or mobile devices to access victims’ existing accounts.
  • Skimming – Manipulating ATMs, gas pumps, debit and point of sale credit readers to obtain access to victims’ accounts.
  • Phishing –  Emailing victims while posing as financial institutions, eBay, Paypal or other entities that may either allow the criminal direct access to the consumer’s bank account or to a third-party account that may be linked.
  • Telephone Fraud – Calling victims, especially the elderly or less-informed, to obtain personal information and access to bank accounts.
Victims of Account Takeover are often the first to detect a problem when they discover unauthorized charges on bank statements or notice that funds are missing from existing accounts. That’s why it’s so important to carefully check your bank and credit card statements and Online Banking activity.

You should check your own credit report at least once a year for any irregularities or unauthorized loans. You can also fight Account Takeover with a little Old School-savvy: put a lock on your home mailbox! Shred all those pre-approved credit card offers, receipts and other documents that contain account information.

Check our website at  for more information about Identity Theft and Account Takeover, or contact anyone in our Loss Prevention Department. We’re always happy to help you protect yourself and your accounts.

Article submitted by:

Catina Bates 
Loss Prevention Specialist
Delta Community Credit Union