Unfortunately, most people don’t consider this question until after they have been a victim of Identity theft. Identity theft is a serious and growing crime. An identity thief takes some piece of your personal or financial information and uses it by posing as you and stealing from you by performing financial transactions in your name without your knowledge. A thief may charge items to your existing account and/or open new accounts, credit cards or other fraudulent accounts in your name. Each year, millions of Americans are affected and it can occur in many different forms:
- Computer crime – This occurs when data is stolen from you during your online activities.
- Personal betrayal – This occurs when a friend, relative, employee or stranger steals your data.
- Document loss – This occurs when you lose your wallet, checkbook or credit cards or your mail or trash is stolen.
- Business leaks – This occurs when your personal files are stolen and exploited from a place where you have conducted business.
As much as we want to trust that our personal information is safe, it is not wise to assume that it is. There are steps that you can take to safeguard your identity: Shred receipts, bills and other personal documents, lock financial documents in a safe place, limit what you carry on you. Ask questions before you share information with people and businesses. Most importantly, monitor your credit report regularly looking for any irregularities.
ECCU has partnered with IDProtect(TM) to bring our members highly reputable identity theft protection at an exclusive and deeply discounted monthly fee of $2.00. To learn more about how you can protect your identity, click here.