Learn How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
BMI Federal Credit Union takes your security very seriously. Identity theft is a growing problem, especially in the Internet connected world we live in. While it can happen to anyone, there are steps you can take to safeguard your personal information and, potentially, reduce some of the risk you face on a daily basis.
Identity theft occurs when someone else fraudulently uses your name, address, Social Security number or other personal information. Because it is a problem that impacts your financial health and can lead to costly problems down the road, it's essential for every individual to know what it takes to stay safe.
How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
It's important to be vigilant when it comes to protecting your identity. Work with our Certified Financial Counselors for your loans and other financial tools to ensure you remain protected. Consider these tips to minimize your risks.
Avoid Carrying Too Much Information With You: Avoid carrying all of your identifying information in your wallet or purse. It's best to carry just your driver's license or state ID and keep items such as your Social Security card, passport and birth certificate in a secure location.
Shred, Don't Toss, Your Trash: One of the most common ways that thieves gain access to consumer information is to do so by digging through your trash. It can happen after it leaves your property, too. To avoid this problem, shred all documentation containing any of your loan information, personally identifying information or other sensitive materials.
Monitor Who You Share Information With: Unfortunately, people posing as government agents or even representatives from companies you work with might call to gather information from you. Don't provide this information unless you've called the company yourself from a phone number you've used previously.
Monitor Your Credit Report: Your credit score is your golden tool. Use it as a way to monitor what's happening with your accounts, including new accounts showing up that you didn't create. Check your credit report from each of the three agencies (Transunion, Equifax and Experian) at least once per year and report any information that isn't accurate directly to the agency.
What to Do If You've Been a Victim
Even the most diligent of individuals will face situations with identity theft. If you believe your BMI Federal Credit Union account has been hacked or accessed without your permission, please call us right away or visit your local branch.
If you've been the victim of identity theft from other sources, you also need to take action, such as:
- Calling any company you believe is compromised directly and reporting the situation.
- Creating a fraud alert on your credit report.
- Reporting the theft to the FTC and to your local police department.
By taking these steps, you might be able to track down what happened and relieve yourself of the financial implications and, in some cases, financial loss from the incident.