To prevent a scam from happening to you:
Never give out personal information to someone who calls you. Occasionally, the fraud-detection network operated by Certegy (the preferred partner we use for some card transactions) will call to confirm a transaction — but will NEVER ask you for personal information.
Contact us immediately if you discover a transaction on your Alabama Credit Union account that you have not authorized.
- Scams and data security breaches in the news
- Free annual credit report
- Don't be a victim (best practices)
- Resources and more info -- new links added
- Blocked countries for VISA debit, credit transactions
- New resource guide on how your credit score is calculated, and how to dispute information
ID theft: how to avoid it and how to recover from it
How can someone steal your identity? Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
Identity theft is a serious crime. People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years -- and their hard-earned money -- cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name and credit record. In the meantime, victims may lose job opportunities, be refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even get arrested for crimes they didn't commit.
If you think your identity has been stolen, here's what to do now:
- Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts, and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge.
- Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit when disputing new unauthorized accounts.
- 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. The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations. Filing a complaint also helps the FTC learn more about identity theft and the problems victims are having so they can better assist you.
- If you are the victim of computer or Internet fraud, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Don't be a victim
Best practices to avoid victimization:
- Never access an organization's Web site from a link provided in an email, but only by typing in the actual URL.
- If you suspect an email may be phishing, contact the organization's customer support center immediately.
- Be very skeptical of "urgent" messages that require you to enter confidential information.
- Keep your Internet browser software up to date and use an anti-virus and anti-spam product.
- Check your online account balances and transaction regularly for any discrepancies.
- Purchase a paper shredder and shred all pre-approvals and any other information or receipts being discarded that lists personal financial information.
- Store financial information securely at home.
- Don’t carry all credit cards.
- Be wary of the disposition of receipts that do not feature truncated (suppressed) account numbers.
- Understand encryption and the Internet before buying online and sign up for a plastic card authentication program, such as Verified By VISA.
- Review your credit report annually.
- Refuse to give out credit card, address, or other personal information to callers whom you don't know. It's best not to give out this information whatsoever unless you initiated the call and know with whom you are speaking.
- Never respond to emails from any financial institution or lender when they request your account information, regardless of how official-looking the e-mail might appear. Reputable financial institutions or credit card processors (such as VISA) would never ask you to forward this information to them. Recent phishing scams appear to be from CitiBank, Regions, and Merrill Lynch. Receiving these emails has absolutely nothing to do with your membership in Alabama Credit Union.
- Don't print your driver license or Social Security number on your checks.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
- Be wary of promotional scams. Identity thieves may use phony offers to get you to give them your personal information.
- Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work.
If victimized, consumers should contact their local police, the FTC, and the three major consumer-reporting agencies as soon as possible:
» Equifax — www.equifax.com
To protect your private information, Alabama Credit Union requires a signature to change your address (we no longer accept address change notifications from the U.S. Postal Service), and will be happy to use a password (assigned by you) to confirm your identity before releasing information by phone. If you would like to assign a password to your account, please contact us using secure email in ACUiBranch® , fax an authorization to us at 205.348.2338, or visit us at any branch location. We require the signatures of all account owners to change account ownership.
Learn about getting your free annual credit report
An excellent way to spot ID Theft and inaccuracies in your credit file is to take advantage of the free annual credit report provided under the FACT Act (Fair And Accurate Credit Transactions Act -- an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act). You are entitled to one free credit file disclosure in a 12 month period. To request this free annual disclosure you may contact the Central Source to request this free annual disclosure by calling toll free (877) FACTACT, or by using the mail request form available at the Central Source Web site by clicking the following link: www.annualcreditreport.com.