Identity theft is when someone takes your name, social security number, credit or other personal information for their own use. They can use this information to pose as you to commit fraud or theft.
If you think you are a victim of identity theft, take these steps.
- Retain all information – phone numbers from fraudulent calls, emails from suspected scammers and phishing attempts and anything else that could be helpful in locating the perpetrator.
- Take action immediately and keep detailed records of your phone calls and correspondence. Keep track of the amount of money and time it takes to deal with the issues related to the theft.
- Contact SC Federal or any other financial institutions and credit card companies to close the affected accounts.
- 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.
- File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
- File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on their website using the ID Theft Complaint Input Form
Identity theft can occur in many different ways. Here are common identity theft themes.
Phishing is an unsolicited email, instant message, or text message attempting to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, SSN and account information. They often direct you to a fake website or to call a fraudulent number.
Vishing (Voice Phishing)
Yes it is a real word. It's similar to phishing, but 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 - A computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. Malware - Malicious software designed to infiltrate a computer system without the owner's consent.
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 small electronic device (skimmer).
Identity theft can take place online, on the phone or even at home. These tips can help keep your identity safe.
- 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.
*Coverage is not provided by South Carolina Federal Credit Union or Insurance Solutions, but is offered as a benefit for our members.
- Use online banking to regularly check your accounts.
- Report small discrepancies on your accounts.
- Shop only from a secure PC and only at trustworthy sites.
- Create strong and secure passwords.
- 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
- Social Security cards or PINs.
- Cancel and shred unused or expired credit cards.
- Shred all personal information before putting it in the garbage.
- Don't give your account or credit card information out over the phone, unless you initiated the call.