Identity theft can happen to anyone. Once you become a victim it could take many hours trying to get your identity clear and your financial matters in order. OCCU will never contact you by e-mail or telephone requesting personal information.
Monitoring your accounts, shredding your mail, treating unsolicited e-mail requests for personal information with suspicion, and contacting the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if it is genuine are just a few of the things you can do to protect your identity.
If you feel that you have become a victim of identity theft, call the national credit bureaus to place a fraud alert in your file. Also file a report with your local police or law enforcement agency. Close or freeze any accounts which may have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. You can also receive free confidential counseling by calling “Call for Action” at 1-866-IDHOTLINE or go to www.callforaction.org to request assistance.
The law allows all consumers to order one free credit report (not credit score) from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus once a year. You can order by calling 1-877-322-8228 or by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
Take advantage of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) ID Theft Affidavit when disputing new unauthorized accounts. This is a special tool developed to help simplify the ID theft reporting process for consumers. The Affidavit is a standard form that can be used by victims to report the same information to different companies, where an account has been opened and/or used under the victim’s name.
For a copy of the ID Theft Affidavit, visit www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or call 1-877-438-4338.