How does identity theft occur?
Identity theft occurs when someone acquires key pieces of your personal information - such as your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and mother's maiden name - and uses that information to impersonate you for financial gain.
With this information, a thief could take over your financial accounts, open new bank accounts, purchase automobiles, apply for loans, credit cards, and Social Security benefits, rent apartments, and establish services with utility and phone companies.
Too many people make it easy to steal their identity. That's why Achieva Credit Union recommends the following preventative measures to help protect yourself from identity theft.
Minimize your risk of identity theft:
- Carry only essential ID and cards
- Sign all new credit cards immediately
- Shred bills and receipts
- Use secure e-Statements from Achieva
- Do not make Internet purchases from sites that are unsecure
- Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery
- Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office
- Never give personal information over the telephone or by e-mail
- Shred pre-approved credit applications
- Destroy carbons
- Never leave receipts at ATMs or gas pumps
- Avoid writing PINs and other codes on your credit cards
- Memorize your PINs and passwords
Use caution when disclosing checking account numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal financial data at any website or online service location unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.
When you subscribe to an online service, you may be asked to give your credit card information. When you enter any interactive service site, beware of con artists who may ask you to "confirm" your enrollment service by disclosing passwords or the credit card account number you used to subscribe.
All of the suggestions, tips and guidance provided in the above section are for informational purposes only. They are general guidelines provided to assist fraud victims in understanding some of the steps they may take to help protect their personal and financial interests. The suggestions are not all-inclusive and should not be considered nor interpreted as legal, accounting, financial or technical advice. You may wish to consult your attorney, accountant or other advisor for specific advice, guidance or recommendations concerning this topic.