If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft

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					If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft
If you believe that someone has stolen your            lists “inquiries” and request that any
identity, you should:                                  inquiries from companies that opened the       National Credit Union Administration
                                                       fraudulent accounts be removed.
•   Contact the fraud department of each of the
    three major credit bureaus to report the       •   Contact any credit union or other creditor
    identity theft and request that the credit         where you have an account that you think
    bureaus place a fraud alert and a victim’s         may be the subject of identity theft. Advise
    statement in your file. The fraud alert puts       them of the identity theft. Request that
    creditors on notice that you have been the         they restrict access to your account, change
    victim of fraud, and the victim’s statement        your account password, or close your
    asks them not to open additional accounts          account, if there is evidence that your
    without first contacting you.                      account has been the target of criminal
                                                       activity. If your credit union closes your
    The following are the telephone numbers for        account, ask them to issue you a new credit
    the fraud departments of the three national        card, ATM card, debit card, or share drafts,
    credit bureaus:                                    as appropriate.

       Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289                 •   File a report with your local police
       Equifax: 1-800-525-6285                         department.
       Experian: 1-888-397-3742
                                                   •   Contact the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline
•   You may request a free copy of your credit         toll-free at 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).
    report. Credit bureaus must provide a free         The FTC puts the information into a secure
    copy of your report, if you have reason to         consumer fraud database and shares it with
    believe the report is inaccurate because of        local, state, and federal law enforcement
    fraud and you submit a request in writing.         agencies.

•   Review your report to make sure no
    additional fraudulent accounts have been
    opened in your name, or unauthorized
    changes made to your existing accounts.
    Also, check the section of your report that
What is Identify Theft ?                               Here are a few basic steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and pretext calling:

 Identity theft is the fraudulent use of a person’s         mail, or over the Internet, unless you                   live in a state that requires the credit
 personal identifying information. Often,                   initiated the contact or know with whom                  bureaus to provide you with one free copy of
 identity thieves will use another person’s                 you are dealing.                                         your report annually).
 personal information, such as a social security
 number, mother’s maiden name, date of birth, or       •    Store personal information in a safe place           •   If you prefer not to receive pre-approved
 account number to open fraudulent new credit               and tear up old credit card receipts, ATM                offers of credit, you can opt out of such
 card accounts, charge existing credit card                 receipts, old account statements, and                    offers by calling (888) 5 OPT OUT.
 accounts, write share drafts, open share                   unused credit card offers before throwing
 accounts, or obtain new loans. They may obtain             them away.                                           •   If you want to remove your name from
 this information by:                                                                                                many national direct mail lists, send your
                                                       •    Protect your PINs and other passwords.                   name and address to:
 •   Stealing wallets that contain personal                 Avoid using easily available information
     identification information and credit cards.           such as your mother’s maiden name, your                      DMA Mail Preference Service
                                                            birth date, the last four digits of your social              P.O. Box 9008
 •   Stealing credit union statements from the              security number, your phone number, etc.                     Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008
                                                       •    Carry only the minimum amount of                     •   If you want to reduce the number of
 •   Diverting mail from its intended recipients            identifying information and number of                    telephone solicitations from many national
     by submitting a change of address form.                credit cards that you need.                              marketers, send your name, address, and
                                                                                                                     telephone number to:
 •   Rummaging through trash for personal              •    Pay attention to billing cycles and
     data.                                                  statements. Inquire of the credit union, if                  DMA Telephone Preference Service
                                                            you do not receive a monthly bill. It may                    P.O. Box 9014
 •   Stealing personal identification information           mean that the bill has been diverted by an                   Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014
     from workplace records.                                identity thief.

 •   Intercepting or otherwise obtaining               •    Check account statements carefully to
     information transmitted electronically.                ensure all charges, share drafts, or
                                                            withdrawals were authorized.
 Pretext calling is a fraudulent means of
 obtaining a person’s personal information.            •    Guard your mail from theft. If you have the
 Pretext callers may contact credit union                   type of mailbox with a flag to signal that
 employees, posing as members, to access                    the box contains mail, do not leave bill
 members’ personal account information.                     payment envelopes in your mailbox with
 Information obtained from pretext calling may              the flag up. Instead, deposit them in a post
 be sold to debt collection services, attorneys, and        office collection box or at the local post
 private investigators to use in court proceedings.         office. Promptly remove incoming mail.
 Identity thieves may also engage in pretext
 calling to obtain personal information to create      •    Order copies of your credit report from each
 fraudulent accounts.                                       of the three major credit bureaus once a
                                                            year to ensure that they are accurate. The
 •   Do not give personal information, such as              law permits the credit bureaus to charge
     account numbers or social security                     $8.50 for a copy of the report (unless you
     numbers, over the telephone, through the