Identity (ID) theft is a crime where criminals steal your personal information, such as your full name or social security number, to commit fraud. They use your information to fraudulently apply for credit, file taxes or get medical services, which can damage your credit status, and cost you time and money to restore your good name. You may not realize that you are the victim of ID theft until you experience a financial consequence such as mystery bills, credit collections or denied loans.
Identity thieves target individuals by posing as legitimate financial institution representatives. They call, email, text and use social networking websites to gain personal and account information from unsuspecting victims. Neither SPCO Credit Union or any other reputable financial institution will contact you for your account number, social security number or credit card information. Your credit union and credit card issuer already has this information and should not need to ask you for it.
Tips for Preventing Identity Theft
Take steps to protect yourself. When in doubt, DON’T give your information out!
- Never provide personal financial information, including your Social Security number, account numbers, login or password information over the phone or the Internet if you did not initiate the contact.
- Never click on the link provided in an e-mail you believe is fraudulent. It may contain a virus that can contaminate your computer, or it may lead you to a fraudulent website that requests your personal information.
- Do not be intimidated by an e-mail or caller who suggests dire consequences (such as account closure or suspension) if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information.
- If you believe the contact is legitimate, go to the company’s website by typing in the web address directly or using a page you have previously bookmarked, instead of a link provided in the e-mail.
- If you fall victim to an attack, act immediately to protect yourself. Alert your financial institution and place fraud alerts on your credit files. Monitor your credit files and account statements closely.
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
Report all suspicious contacts to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
Monitor your credit report regularly. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report, once every twelve months, from each credit reporting agency.