Identity Theft

Know what to look for and how to react.

Use this helpful guide to understand the risks.

If you have any questions about this information or need additional details, please contact us or visit a South Carolina Federal Credit Union financial center.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is when someone takes your name, Social Security Number, credit, or other personal information for their own use. The criminal uses this information to pose as you to commit fraud or theft.

What do I do in the event of identity theft?

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, follow these steps.

  1. Retain all relevant information, such as phone numbers from fraudulent calls, emails from suspected scammers and phishing attempts, and anything else that could be helpful in locating the perpetrator.
  2. Take action immediately and keep detailed records of your phone calls and correspondence. Additionally, keep track of the amount of money and time you spend dealing with issues related to the theft.
  3. Contact us to close affected accounts. Do the same for any other financial institutions and credit card companies.
    • Use My Credit Score to monitor your accounts. Prevent identity theft through free credit monitoring. Watch for things like new accounts being opened, a change in address, or anything else that does not seem normal.
    • Use Card Controls® through our mobile app or Online Banking to turn cards off or on.
  4. Notify one of the three major credit bureaus and place a Fraud Alert on your credit report. Once one credit agency confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts.
  5. File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
  6. File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on their website using the ID Theft Complaint Input Form or call their hotline at 877-438-4338.

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, follow these steps.

  1. Retain all relevant information, such as phone numbers from fraudulent calls, emails from suspected scammers and phishing attempts, and anything else that could be helpful in locating the perpetrator.
  2. Take action immediately and keep detailed records of your phone calls and correspondence. Additionally, keep track of the amount of money and time you spend dealing with issues related to the theft.
  3. Contact us to close affected accounts. Do the same for any other financial institutions and credit card companies.
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How can I spot identity theft?

Identity theft can occur in many different ways. Here are common identity theft themes.


Phishing

Phishing is an unsolicited email, instant message, or text message attempting to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers, and account information. They often direct you to a fake website or to call a fraudulent number.


Vishing (Voice Phishing)

Similar to phishing, this scam uses a phone as the means to obtain personal information.


Telemarketing or Mail Scams

Criminals often use the phone or traditional mail to commit many different types of fraud, including sweepstakes and lottery frauds, loan fraud, buying club memberships, and credit card scams.


Virus/Malware

A virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. Malware is malicious software designed to infiltrate a computer system without the owner's consent.


Card Skimming

Skimming is the theft of credit card information when performing an otherwise legitimate transaction. It is typically an "inside job" by a dishonest employee of a legitimate merchant. The thief captures a victim's credit card number using basic methods such as photocopying receipts, or more advanced methods such as using a skimmer, which is a small electronic device easily concealed.

 

Identity theft can occur in many different ways. Here are common identity theft themes.

  • Phishing
  • Vishing (Voice Phishing)
  • Telemarketing or Mail Scams
  • Virus/Malware
  • Card Skimming
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How can I prevent identity theft?

Identity theft can take place online, on the phone, or even at home. These tips can help safeguard your identity.


Online

  • Stay ahead of identity theft with IdentityForce*, an affordable member benefit that delivers ongoing monitoring, rapid alerts, and recovery services to help protect you and your family against ID theft.
  • Use online banking to regularly check your accounts.
  • Report small discrepancies on your accounts.
  • Shop only from a secure computer, and only at trustworthy sites.
  • Create strong and secure passwords.


Offline

  • Request a copy of your credit report annually.
  • Keep your personal information confidential from everyone.
  • Memorize personal information and never carry confidential information with you, such as Social Security cards or PINs.
  • Cancel and shred unused or expired credit cards.
  • Shred all personal information before putting it in the garbage.
  • Do not give your account or credit card information out over the phone, unless you initiated the call.
Identity theft can take place online, on the phone, or even at home. These tips can help safeguard your identity.
 
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Coverage is not provided by South Carolina Federal Credit Union or Insurance Solutions, but is offered as a benefit for our members.