At UNFCU, we are committed to working with you to protect your personal information. We believe that one of the best ways to fight identity theft is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Here are some easy ways to prevent someone from stealing your key identifying information:
- Always shred documents that you no longer need and that contain sensitive information. Never toss them into a trash can.
- Never share your personal information, account information, PIN or password with anyone, especially if you received an unexpected telephone call or email. UNFCU, along with most financial institutions, will never contact you requesting sensitive information, unless the contact had been initiated by you and, we need to follow up with you to resolve the issue.
- Regularly check your credit union/bank and credit card statements closely to see if there are charges/transactions that you do not recognize or understand.
- Create unique passwords for your credit card, financial institution and telephone accounts that are difficult to guess. Prefer randomly chosen numbers to a birthday or a special year.
- We DO NOT recommend accessing your banking accounts or conducting banking transactions on computers located at public locations such as Internet Cafés even if located in a renown hotel due to the possibility that malicious spyware may corrupt the machine and capture your information.
- Secure your personal information, even in your home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or have service work done in your home.
- Find out who has access to your personal information at work, and make sure that those records are kept securely.
- Remove your incoming mail from your mailbox as soon as possible. If you live in the United States and plan to be away for an extended period of time, call the US Postal Service at 1 800-275-8777 and request a "vacation hold." You may pick up your mail at your local post office upon your return. If you relocate, please provide UNFCU with your home address information in advance, or immediately after relocating.
- When accessing your financial records online, do not leave your computer unattended, and remember to always log off when you are finished.
- Be watchful of individuals standing near you in public places, such as the checkout line at a retail store or near an ATM, especially if they have a cell phone in hand. With the new camera cell phones, identity thieves are able to take pictures of your credit card, gaining access to your name, card number and card expiration date.
If You Have a Social Security Number
Give your Social Security Number (SSN) only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other types of identifiers.
If someone asks for your SSN, ask the following questions:
- Why do you need my SSN?
- How will my SSN be used?
- How will you protect my SSN from being stolen?
- What will happen if I do not give you my SSN?
Sometimes a business may not provide you with the service or benefit you are seeking if you do not provide your SSN. Getting answers to the above questions will help you decide whether you want to share your SSN with the business. Remember, the decision is yours.