What is identity theft?
Identity theft, the fastest-growing financial crime, occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, driver's license, credit card number, or birthdate to access your bank accounts, open new accounts, or apply for credit cards or other loans in your name.
Identity theft could be happening to you for months before you find out about it, and you don’t have to shop online or fall for a telemarketing scam to become a victim. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect yourself. Our Account Security page offers many tips on keeping your accounts secure, and the Federal Trade Commission offers a wealth of information on protecting yourself as well as actions to take if you suspect your identity has been stolen.
What to do if your identity is stolen:
Contact the three major credit bureaus and ask them to place a "fraud alert" in your file, so lenders and other credit report users will be careful before starting or changing accounts in your name.
- Equifax: 800.525.6285
- Experian: 888.397.3742
- Trans Union: 800.680.7289
- Contact UNCLE Credit Union and any credit card company or financial institution that you do business with. If necessary, close old accounts and open new ones, and select new passwords and PINs (personal identification numbers). Your call also may alert the credit union to scams that might be targeting other members.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Trained counselors provide information on how to resolve problems and repair damage to your credit records. They may refer certain cases to law enforcement agencies, regulatory agencies, or private entities that can help. For information, call 877.IDTHEFT (877.438.4338) or visit the FTC website.
- Contact local police or authorities where the identity theft occurred. Fill out a police report detailing what happened. Get a copy of the completed report- that can help clear up questions and problems when dealing with creditors and other financial institutions.