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Clean out wallet before traveling and keep ID and other documents safe. Remove extra credit cards, social security card, banking cards and various identification cards that contain personal information. Leave your checkbook at home as well. Limit your credit cards and ID to only what is absolutely necessary for your trip. When you are traveling, and IDs such as your passport and other documents are not in use, keep them safely locked up. Lock your passport and other important documentation and credit cards in your hotel safe when not in use.
Be careful when using public Wi-Fi networks. Most shared internet connections you use when traveling may be public, in hotels, airports and restaurants. If your connection is unsecured, someone may be able to see your information. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to access financial accounts and important accounts.
Be aware of ATM skimming & theft at ATMs. ATMs are popping up everywhere for convenience, but some may be targeted more than others by thieves. Avoid ATMs in convenience stores, gas stations or other crowded areas. If using and ATM, try to use a Credit Union or Bank ATM, they tend to be more secure.
Keep your cell phone and other mobile devices secure at all times. Many of us have apps on our mobile devices that take us directly to bank accounts and other accounts. You don’t want your mobile device getting into the wrong hands. Set a password on your phone and tablet, so if stolen, it can’t be used.
When you return from your trip check on bank and credit card activity. These are the first places you will see signs of identity theft. Check again in a few weeks for any out of the ordinary activity.
Due to the elevated levels of fraud, the card transactions in the following countries are blocked automatically:
- South African Republic
- Russian Federation
- The United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia
If you plan to travel to one of these countries and plan to use your card there, notify SUMA FCU by calling 914-220-4900 and ask for Plastic Cards Department.
For all other countries, you can also notify Plastic Cards Department by phone or text at 914-220-4900 but it's not necessary.
Multi-factor authentication and layered security are helping assure safe internet transactions for credit unions and their members.
Identity Theft: What You Should Know
Identity theft is everywhere today. Whether you're shopping online, reviewing an electronic account statement or sending information through the mail, it's important to know who could potentially view that private content.
How Criminals Get Your Personal Information
Criminals can obtain personal information in a number of ways: stealing wallets, purses, and mail containing account statements, pre-approved credit card offers, new checks, and tax information. Thieves will then complete a "change of address" form to divert your mail to another location.
Other tech-savvy scammers will use a method called "phishing," which involves sending fraudulent e-mails to attempt to scam others into revealing personal financial information. Thieves may also try a tactic called "pharming", which is when a hacker creates a phony but authentic looking replica of a legitimate website.
How Criminals Use Your Stolen Information
Criminals may request additional credit or debit cards in your name. Thieves may also open a new credit card account using your name, date of birth and Social Security number but their mailing addresses to receive the cards. When the thieves don't pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report.
Some information, such as whether you own a home, pay real estate taxes, or have ever filed for bankruptcy, is public record. However, you should never reveal your account numbers, passwords, or PINs, Social Security number, mother's maiden name or any other sensitive information about your financial accounts unless you initiate the telephone call. You should never provide confidential or sensitive information to any e-mail request as financial institutions already have your information on file.
What To Do If You Are a Victim
If you suspect you have been a victim of identity theft, don't panic, but do act quickly. Report any suspicious activity to the police, your credit union, the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), and/or your current credit card issuer.
You can file a formal complaint with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) regarding suspect e-mail fraud at www.ic3.gov
For additional info and tips you can visit a website produced by the federal government and the technology industry www.onguardonline.gov
Check your Credit Report online at www.annualcreditreport.com