Phishing is the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a website where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and account numbers that the legitimate organization already has. The website, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information. Add text explaining that your credit union would not send requests for this type of information via e-mail and any other details that you wish to provide.
Vishing is the telephone equivalent of phishing. Vishing is the act of using the telephone in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The scammer usually pretends to be a legitimate business, and fools the victim into thinking he or she will profit. Add text explaining that your credit union would not send requests for this type of information via phone.
If you feel you have been a victim of identity theft, contact the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline toll-free at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); by mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580; or online.
If your wallet has been lost or stolen, take the following actions:
- Call the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax: 1-800-525-6285, Experian: 1-888-397-3742 and Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289) and ask them to immediately place a Fraud Alert on your name and Social Security number. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
- Notify the SSN national fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
- Cancel your credit cards. Include the numbers for VISA and MasterCard customer service.
- File a police report the same day, if at all possible, in the jurisdiction where your wallet was stolen.
Note: Your credit union might want to add information about contacting a member service representative.
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