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Identity Theft

Identity Theft is the act of stealing money or gaining benefits by pretending to be a different person.
Personal Information: name, date of birth, social security number, bank account numbers, etc.

Identity theft in its many forms continues to be a concern. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to establish credit or borrow money in your name. Knowing the threat is the first line of defense. That means keeping abreast of the frauds active in today's enviroment...and knowing what you can do to protect yourself.

**This web page will be updated on a regular basis sharing information on new threats and how you can protect yourself.

Theft – Prevention, Protection, Detection and Action

We break down what identity theft is, what it can cost victims, and what viewers can do to protect their most valuable asset – their identity.



Protection from Identity Theft


Visit the Federal Trade Commission's website for more information.

Receive Your Free Annual Credit Report

ALERT:
Do not respond to emails, phone calls or text messages that ask you for any of your account information, including card numbers and personal identification numbers. Messages that ask for this type of information are fraudulent and should be reported immediately. We will never contact you for this information.

 

Click a topic below to learn more:

EMAIL SCAMS

TELEPHONE AND MAIL SCAMS

CYBER-FRAUD

LOTTERY FRAUD

CREDIT AND DEBIT CARD FRAUD

20 WAYS OF IDENTITY THEFT PROVENTION

RESOURCES

Money Order Loss Prevention Notice
In an effort to protect your account, please review the following link referring to Money Order Security Features. Metrum Credit Union may place a hold on deposits made with Money Orders.

 

EMAIL SCAMS

A member has received an email claiming to be from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) stating that their account access has been limited because their account was accessed by a third party. There is a link for the member to use to restore full access as soon as possible. Once the member clicks on the link, a fake website appears posing as one from CUNA.org. This site then asks the individual to input the following information:
*Legal First Name
*Card Number
*Expiration Date
*PIN #

*Mailing Address
*Email Address
*Organization Name

THIS IS A SCAM! If you receive this email, or an email that asks for personal information, DO NOT RESPOND OR COMPLETE THE INFORMATION REQUESTED.

If you feel that you may have responded to a false email with your personal information, or to learn more about protecting your identity, contact the Federal Trade Commission.

CYBER-FRAUD

On-Line Fraud is Growing

Email and Internet Fraud take advantage of the Internet's unique ability to send email messages worldwide in seconds or post website information that is accessible from anywhere. Email and internet fraudsters carry out their scams more invisibly than ever before, making identity theft from online scams one of the fastest growing crimes today.

Members should be especially vigilant to some of the more prevalent frauds at work in cyberspace.

PHISHING
Fraudulent emails, appearing to be from a trusted source such as your credit union or government agency, directs you to a website asking you to "verify" personal information. Once scammers have your information, they have the tools to commit account fraud using your name.

What You Can Do:
*If you receive an email that tells you to confirm certain information, DO NOT click on the email link. Instead, use a phone number or website address you know to be legitimate.

*Before submitting any financial information through a website, look for the "lock" icon on the browser status bar, or look for "https" in the web address.

*Report suspicious activity (see resources below)

Remember: Metrum Credit Union will never send you an email asking you to verify personal information!

PHARMING
Similar to phishing, pharming seeks to obtain personal information by secretly directing you to a copycat website where your information is stolen, usually with a legitimate-looking form.

What You Can Do:
*Be wary of unsolicited or unexpected emails from all sources.

*If an unsolicited email arrives, treat it as you would a phishing source (see above).

MALWARE
Short for malicious software, and also known as "spyware", it is often included in spam emails. It then can take control of your computer and forward personal data to fraudsters.

What You Can Do:
Install and update regularly your:
*Anti-virus software
*Anti-malware programs
*Firewalls on your computer
*Operating system patches and updates

GENERAL TIPS AGAINST CYBER-FRAUD
Don't Judge by Initial Appearances. The availability of software that allows anyone to set up a professional-looking website means that criminals can make their websites look as impressive as those of legitimate businesses.

Be Careful Giving Personal Data Online. If you receive emails from someone you don't know asking for personal data-don't send the data without knowing who's asking.

Be Wary of Emails Concealing Their True Identity. If someone sends you an email using a mail header (the from address) that has no useful identifying data it could mean that the person is hiding something.

Fortify Your System. Here are some basic safety tips you can implement immediately:
Password-Experts advise a combination of letters and numbers.

Virus Protection-
Your computer's anti-virus software needs to be up-to-date to guard against new strains.

Firewalls-
This protective wall between the outside world and your computer helps prevent unauthorized access. Check regularly with your software company to be sure you have the latest updates.

Spyware-
Anti-spyware programs are readily available. Every computer connected to the internet should have the software installed.. and updated regularly.

Congratulations! You've been hit with Lottery Fraud!

We've all heard it before. "If it's too good to be true, it probably is." An increase of fraudulent correspondence has been cycled around via email and mail that involves lottery scams. If you receive any type of messages such as this, either through email, US Postal mail or phone solicitations-DO NOT BE FOOLED. These are scams and have cost consumers millions of dollars. We suggest that you notify the FTC to report any fraudulent activity.

Click below to view actual copies of scams that are being passed around.

Lottery Scams

Deceased Account Transfer

Fraud Alert! Not Who They Claim To Be

 

Credit and Debit Card Fraud

Credit Card: Stolen credit card information is the most common transaction fraud. In its simplest form, it involves a criminal stealing your credit card information and running up charges in your name. Alternatively, fraudsters can steal personal information by phishing, spyware or other means, then open new credit card accounts in your name. Left unchecked, it can spoil your credit record, ruin your credit score, and make it difficult to land a new mortgage or even a job!

What You Can Do:
*Implement the computer security measures noted above with Cyber-Fraud.

*Destroy credit card solicitations before throwing them away. "Dumpster-diving" is still one of the ways criminals get cards in your name.

*Shred financial statements before discarding.

*Prepare a list of your credit card numbers and company contact information.

*Report lost or stolen cards immediately.

Debit Card: For those who want the convenience of a credit card, but do not want the interest payments or large bills at month-end, the answer can often be a debit card. Unlike credit cards, which are much like a loan that must be paid back, sometime with interest, debit cards offer the convenience of cash and "pay-as-you-go" purchasing.

Unfortunately, fraudsters have learned that debit cards can be a like a blank check, enabling them to empty an account before the victim even realizes the card is missing. In fact, the card is not even necessary. With simply a name and a card number, thieves can empty an account while the card is still in the victim's pocket.

One card threat is known as "skimming". In this fraud, thieves set up a device that captures the debit card magnetic stripe and keypad information from ATM machines and gas pumps.

What You Can Do:
*Do not keep your PIN with your card.

*Be careful when using the card that no one is secretly watching (such as the person behind you in line).

*If an ATM looks suspicious, consider that it might be a skimming device and go to another location.

20 WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM IDENTITY THEFT

1: Keep track of all financial accounts and review them frequently.
2: Save credit card receipts and compare them against monthly statements. Then destroy by shredding.
3: Pay attention to billing cycles on accounts. Follow up with creditors if bills don't arrive on time.
4: Periodically run your credit history with all 3 bureaus and be sure it is accurate.
5: If credit cards are lost or stolen, cancel them immediately.
6: Never give out credit card or any other personal information on the phone unless you initiated the call.
7: Deposit outgoing bill payments at the post office or collection boxes.
8: Get a P.O. box, or at least remove mail from your mailbox promptly.
9: Have new checks delivered to the credit union, not your house.
10: Put passwords on credit cards, bank, and phone records.
11: Shred all financial information instead of throwing in the trash.
12: Keep financial documents in a safe, locked place.
13: Don't keep credit cards or statements in your car.
14: Empty your wallet or purse of unused cards. Cut up and cancel unused credit cards.
15: Sign all new credit cards immediately.
16: Use cash whenever possible.
17: Do not carry Social Security Cards with you; do not put SSN on your driver's license or checks.
18: Never loan your credit cards to anyone.
19: Do not lose sight of your credit card at any time when making a purchase. Make sure it is returned.
20: Beware of telephone, mail, or computer scams which are designed to obtain personal information.

RESOURCES

Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC)
www.ifccfbi.gov

Consumer Fraud (DOJ/Homepage)
www.usdoj.gov

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Response Center
www.ftc.gov

FirstGov (Your first Click to the U.S. Government)
www.firstgov.gov

Consumer.gov
www.consumber.gov

Social Security Administration
Report Fraud: 800-269-0271

Identity Theft Resource Center
www.idtheftcenter.org 888-693-7935