Moog Federal Credit Union

ID Theft

What is identity theft?

 

Identity theft takes place when someone steals your personal information (such as your name, social security or bank account number) to commit fraud.  These thieves use the information to repeatedly commit fraud in an attempt to duplicate your identity.  It can have a negative effect on your credit and create a financial hassle for you.  Take action to minimize the chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.

 

Top ways someone can steal your identity

  1. Lost or stolen information like social security cards, checkbooks, credit cards or your mail can provide criminals with enough data to commit fraud. 

  2.  Onlookers at the ATM or in stores may get your PIN while you are using your debit card.

  3.  Inside jobs are also a threat to your security.  An employee of a business such as a doctor’s office or financial services company may illegally access personal information and sell it to identity thieves.

  4.  The internet creates a place that criminals collect personal information.  They use the internet to look for personal pages that contain information like genealogical data with your mother’s maiden name that can be used to set up a credit card account or possibly access existing accounts.

  5.  Phishing is an attempt to steal confidential information from consumers through the use of “pop-ups” or emails.  These emails have Internet links to deceive you into disclosing sensitive information such as bank account numbers and social security numbers.  Oftentimes the email appears as if it comes from a trusted source.  It directs you to a “spoof” website that encourages you to divulge sensitive information.

  6.  Skimmers are devices used to read the magnetic strip from you credit card or bank card.  They are often hidden in places where you legitimately use your card to make a transaction like an ATM or a restaurant.  Your information is typically used within 24 hours of the skim to make online purchases.

  7.  On the phone you may be duped into providing information to someone disguising themselves as a legitimate business representative like your phone company, a department store, or cable company.

  8.  Dumpster diving- Thieves rummage through your trash looking for bills or other papers with your personal information on it. 

  9.  Changing your address- Thieves divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.

 

What do thieves do with a stolen identity?

 

Credit card fraud:

Thieves open new credit card accounts in your name.  When they use the cards and don’t pay the bills, the delinquent accounts appear on your credit report.  They change the billing address on your credit card so you no longer receive bills and then run up charges on your account. 

 

Phone or utilities fraud:

Thieves open a new phone or wireless account in your name, or run up charges on your existing account.  They may use your name to get utility services like electricity, heating or cable TV.

 

Bank/Finance fraud:

Thieves may create counterfeit checks using your name or account number.  They may open a bank account in your name and write bad checks.  They may clone your ATM or debit card and make electronic withdrawals in your name, draining your accounts.  They may take out a loan in your name.

 

Government documents fraud:

Thieves may get a drivers license or official ID card issued in your name but with their picture.  They may use your name and social security number to get government benefits.  They may file a fraudulent tax return using your information.

 

Other fraud:

They may get a job using your social security number.

They may rent a house or get medical services using your name.

They may give your personal information to police during an arrest.  If they don’t show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.

 

 


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