Stay Protected from Holiday Fraudsters
Just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season... Below are several strategies members can use to detect and avoid falling victim to fraud and identity theft.
Review Credit Reports at Least Once a Year. This will help your members ensure fraudulent accounts have not been opened using their personal information. Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles consumers to a free credit report once a year from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Members can receive their report by contacting the credit reporting agencies directly or by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
Monitor Financial Statements and Online Banking Regularly. Members should get into the routine of checking their statements and periodically reviewing their account transactions and online activities. This will help members identify unauthorized account activities early, preventing potential losses to their personal accounts and negative impact to your credit union's reputation.
Ensure Children Understand What Information to Provide Online. Fraudsters will often use a game or a free offer that will request personal information, or will include spyware to track and steal information from a member's computer or mobile device. Members can protect themselves by encouraging their children to limit online contact to friends they actually know, setting privacy controls to restrict access to private information, and enabling parental controls that allow access to only trusted sites. Members should also talk to their children about not giving out their name, address, date of birth, or any other personal information online without talking to a parent first.
Shred Documents with Personal and Financial Information. Financial statements, credit card offers and billing statements are examples of documents members should be shredding.
Look Out for Scams Involving Social Engineering. Fraudsters may impersonate a credit union (or other legitimate organizations) to trick members into giving out personal account information. This social engineering tactic is often utilized as part of an elaborate scheme involving phone calls, emails, text messages and other forms of communication. Remind members to never reply to unsolicited telephone, email, text or pop-up messages asking for personal account information. Members should understand legitimate organizations never ask for sensitive information over unsecured communication channels. Also, educate members on what policies and procedures your credit union follows when requesting sensitive information.