Protect Yourself From Fraud, Identity Theft and More.
With summer here, we want to ensure you and your finances are safe. Whether you’re traveling or staying home, we want you to be aware of the many ways you could fall victim to identity theft, phishing scams and more.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s name, Social Security number, or credit card number without permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft is serious and can take significant amounts of money and time to fix. Additionally, identity theft can lead to lost job opportunities, the inability to obtain loans and other credit and can also have a negative impact on your credit score. Unfortunately, identity theft is nothing new, yet it still manages to cost victims billions of dollars globally, each year. The last thing you want is your personal information falling into the wrong hands.
Phishing for Your Information- Pretending to be a financial institution or company via phone call, email or text message to get you to reveal your personal information is becoming more and more common and sophisticated. Please keep in mind that LOC will never initiate contact with you and ask for your personal information. If you receive an e-mail, call or text asking for any type of this information do not respond.
ATM Skimming- Stealing credit or debit card numbers by using a special card reading device when processing your card during a transaction. When you slide your card into an ATM or machine that has a skimmer attached, you’re unknowingly sliding it through a counterfeit reader, which scans and stores all your information from the magnetic strip as well as capturing your PIN from the keypad allowing the scammers to obtain all the necessary information to make purchases and allow access to your accounts.
No Time for Thievery- Stealing wallets, purses, bank statements, credit card statements, new checks or tax information. Stealing records from employers or bribing an employee who works there.
Take Out the Trash- Even if you’re really careful about the information you put online, your trash bags and recycling bin can still be an easy target for identity thieves. Dumpster diving may sound old school, but it’s still an easy way for identity thieves to get access to your personal information. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Ways to Protect & Regularly Keep an Eye on Your Finances
- ID Protect- For just $3 a month, you’ll have instant access to daily credit monitoring and automated alerts of key changes to your credit report with ID Protect. This is a great tool to have all year-round, but especially during the summer when you’re traveling.
- Visa Purchase Alerts- A great way to monitor fraud is to sign up for free Visa Purchase Alerts. This allows you to receive real-time alerts via text or e-mail whenever a purchase is made with your Visa debit or credit card that meets the criteria chosen during enrollment.
- eAlerts- Our eAlerts provide you with the most up-to-date account details, delivered right to your phone or email address. From balance and transaction alerts to security alerts about any of your account information changing, our free eAlerts allow you to keep an eye on your finances at all times.
- Regularly Review Your Credit Report- By law you are entitled to a copy of your credit report annually from all three credit reporting agencies - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion - once every 12 months. You should check your credit reports from each of the 3 bureaus annually. Doing so will make sure your credit is up-to-date and accurate. An error on your credit report could negatively affect your credit score and you don’t even know it. Keep your eyes open for recent inquiries, late payments, collection accounts or judgments that could be hurting your score. If you find an error, contact the credit agencies to dispute as soon as possible.
When it comes to preventing and being vigilant against fraud, exercising caution is one of the most important steps you can take.
- Don’t open or click on any links in suspicious emails
- Never open unexpected attachments
- Delete suspicious messages, even if you know the source
- Don’t answer calls or text messages from unknown numbers
- Regularly secure your accounts with strong passwords and change them frequently
- Don’t use the same password across multiple sites
- Make sure your phone is protected with a passcode or some sort of biometric setting
Scams comes in all shapes and sizes. Scammers don’t care who you are, how old you are or how much money you have, all they’re worried about is obtaining your personal information to use it to their advantage. They will leverage any situation they can and have even used the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic as a way to lure you in. Be vigilant, be cautious, but most of all, be safe.
For the most up-to-date and accurate information on Identity Theft and Consumer Protection please visit https://www.ftc.gov/