Identity theft is a serious crime which becomes more widespread every day. Victims of identity theft may spend years, not to mention thousands of dollars, trying to clean up the mess. To help protect you from identity theft, we have compiled the following information:
How identity thieves get your information
- Stealing your wallet/purse with personal information.
- Stealing your bank and credit card statements out of your mailbox.
- Completing a change of address form in your name.
- Rummaging through your trash for private information.
- Using personal information you share on the Internet.
- Contacting you and posing as someone you think you can trust.
How they use your personal information
Unfortunately, there are a myriad of ways for a criminal to use your information. With access to your personal and/or banking information, they can open a new account and write bad checks, or use checks and debit cards to drain your account. They can also establish phone or wireless services in your name.
What you can do to protect yourself
Patrol your credit
Obtain a copy of your free credit report through: annualcreditreport.com – a secure and centralized site created by the three major credit bureaus that allows you to obtain a copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each bureau, for free. You can look for any unauthorized accounts or activity.
Other sites offering "free" credit reports aren't backed by the three main credit bureaus and should be treated with caution. Be sure to read all the fine.
Additionally, qualified GECU members have access to their FICO® Score in Online Banking and our mobile app,1 updated quarterly.
Sign-up for eStatements and use Bill Pay to prevent statements, payments, and personal financial information from being stolen from your mailbox. Set up alerts so you're notified of suspicious activity right away.
Keep us in the loop
If your GECU debit or credit card is lost or stolen, contact us as soon as you are aware. We will block that card and order you a new card.
Don't give out personal information over the phone or a website, unless you know it is secure and you initiated the contact. Never share personal or financial information via email, as this is not a secure form of communication. Instead use services like Secure Chat and Email, available securely within Online Banking and our mobile app.
Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office. Shred items like: credit card applications, charge receipts, and past financial statements, before placing them in the trash.
Open a safe deposit box to keep your personal belongings – like Social Security cards and passports – safe.
What to do if your identity has been stolen
If you know or suspect your identity has been stolen, place a fraud alert on your credit report and review your report for anything amiss. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Then, file a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Lastly, you should file a complaint with the FTC.
For more information on how you can protect your personal information, or for full details on how to report identity theft, please visit the FTC’s website. You may also contact us for more information.
General Electric Credit Union is a full-service financial institution headquartered in Cincinnati with branches in Ohio and Kentucky.