We want you to feel safe with us. That's why we constantly review and update what we use to protect you and your accounts at the credit union.
To safeguard your personal information from fraud and security risk, we conduct frequent technology audits to review our system infrastructure. We are constantly evaluating and implementing new security features to ensure your accounts and transactions are safe. We also align ourselves with companies that must prove to us that they, too, take consumer privacy seriously and have the proper security and procedures in place to protect you.
Continue through the tabs on this page to educate yourself on what you can do to protect your own identity.
You should never have to worry about your personal information being compromised. Here are some easy steps you can take to protect what's most important to you.
- Review your credit reports. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax). You can request all three at the same time, or order one every four months. To request your credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com. You can also call or visit the credit union and have us conduct a free personalized credit review.
- Review your billing statements and credit union account statements. If there are mistakes on your statement or it doesn't get delivered to you on time, contact the credit union right away.
- Shred your sensitive documents. This includes receipts, credit offers and applications, account statements, unused checks, and other similar documents that contain your private information.
- Legitimate companies will never ask you for personal information via email, text or phone messages. If you receive messages requesting things like your Social Security number or credit card number, delete them.
- Create complex passwords for your online accounts that include letters, numbers and special characters. Don't use the same password on more than one account.
- Use only encrypted sites when you bank or shop online. Encrypted sites have "https" at the beginning of the web address (the "s" stands for secure).
- Keep your computer protected by using anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- Don't open files, click on links, or download programs sent to you by people you don't know. It could expose your system to a virus or malicious software that captures your passwords or other sensitive information.
More information about protecting your identity can be found on the Federal Trade Commission's website.
If you suspect someone has stolen your identity, the best thing to do is to act quickly. Here's what you can do to protect yourself going forward.
- Flag your credit reports. Call one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies and request a fraud alert be placed on your report. Whichever one you call must work with the other two agencies so they as well can flag your report. The initial fraud alert is good for 90 days.
- Order your credit reports. Each agency's report can be a little different, so it's good to review all three of them at once if you are a victim of identity theft. Read the reports carefully to see if the information is correct. If you see errors or signs of fraud, contact the agency reporting it immediately.
- Contact the credit union so we can review your accounts. Identity theft can also impact your account balances if your debit card or checks have been compromised. Completing a full review of all your accounts will help you find errors faster.
- Create an Identity Theft Report. This can help you get fraudulent information removed from your credit report, stop companies from collecting debts caused by identity theft, and help you get additional information about the fraudulent accounts. To create one of these reports:
- File a complaint with the FTC. You can also call 1-877-438-4338. You will receive something called an FTC Affidavit after filing a complaint.
- Take the Affidavit to your local police department and file a police report. Be sure to get a copy of the police report for your records.
Additional information on what to do if your identity is stolen can be found on the Federal Trade Commission's website.
Knowledge is power - learn more about some of the trending fraud alerts seen today.
With overpayment scams, fraudsters play the role of buyer and target consumers selling a product or service. Payment for the product or service will exceed the agreed upon sale amount, and instruction will be provided to the seller to return the portion of funds that was overpaid to the buyer.
A deposited check can take several days or more to clear. When the original check turns out to be a fraudulent item, the seller (aka the victim) is responsible for paying the financial institution back for any money withdrawn.
Legitimate buyers will never pay you MORE for a product or service.
Mystery Shopper Scams
In mystery shopper scams, the consumer, hired to be a secret shopper, is asked to evaluate the performance of a store and/or its employees, or evaluate the effectiveness of a money transfer service. The consumer is given a check, told to deposit it in their account, and withdraw a specific amount in cash. Then, the consumer is told to take the cash to the store or money transfer service specified, and typically, purchase reloadable prepaid cards or send the money to a person via electronic transfer. The consumer is supposed to evaluate their shopping experience — but no one collects the evaluation. The secret shopper scenario is just a scam to get the consumer’s money.
Many legitimate and safe mystery shopping positions do exist, but they will NEVER involve sending or wiring money back to a person.
Did you receive a letter and a check stating you've won a prize, but don't remember entering any contest? Plenty of contests are run by reputable marketers and non-profits, but every day, people lose thousands of dollars to prize scams. A telltale sign of this scam is that you are instructed to pay for your prize. Legitimate sweepstakes will not require you to pay taxes, shipping and handling charges, or processing fees to get your prize. Legitimate sweepstakes will also never ask you to wire money to someone, especially to someone in a foreign country. If you receive a letter and an accompanying check in the mail and it all sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and it is most likely a scam.
Phone Call and Text Message Scams
Identity thieves will pose as credit union representatives and contact consumers either by phone call or text message in this popular scam. Consumers are led to believe their account information has been compromised and they are instructed to provide personal information or click a link in order to authenticate their accounts. Account information is compromised or clicking the link installs malicious software on the user's device. Consumers should avoid providing personal information when they did not initiate the call or text message. Dutch Point Credit Union will never request personal information via text message.