8 Steps to Protect Your Identity
Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the U.S., recently announced a data breach that affects 143 million consumers. While the data breach was made public last week, the actual issue appears to have occurred between mid-May and the end of July (2017). Whether or not your information was exposed, SAC Federal Credit Union wants to assist you with reducing the risk of Identity Theft. Here are some tips and best practices you should consider taking:
- Check your Credit Union/Bank and Credit Card balances regularly. Check for transactions or any activity that look abnormal. If you have a question, call the financial institution immediately.
- Sign up for account alerts through SAC FCU's online or mobile banking. This will allow you to see when large purchases occur (you set the amount), a purchase is made without your card being present, or if purchases are made from outside the country.
- Consider using the CardValet mobile app to monitor and manage your debit card activity. This app protects your debit card through your mobile device by allowing you to control when, where and how your payment card is used. To learn more, please click here.
- Be aware of suspicious emails or phone calls asking you for personal information, particularly if the caller claims to be associated with the Equifax data breach resolution.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your accounts with the Credit Bureaus (See contact details below). This makes it harder for someone to open up accounts in your name.
- Consider placing a Fraud Alert on your account with the Credit Bureaus (See contact details below). This will force additional verification processes for anyone attempting to open accounts under your information because it flags you as a potential victim of Identity Theft.
- Exercise your right to a free annual Credit Bureau Report. This can be obtained at https://www.annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to receive a free report from all three credit bureaus once every 12 months.
- Consider utilizing credit monitoring or Identity Theft Protection services. There are fee based services available that will assist you in the ongoing monitoring of your credit and personal information.
Below is contact information related to the Credit Bureaus and the Federal Trade Commission:
888-397-3742 | www.experian.com
800-680-7289 | www.transunion.com
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Response Center:
877-438-4338 | www.ftc.gov/idtheft