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3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Jan 27, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission announced that January 25th through January 29th will be recognized as Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. In response, the National Credit Union Administration has updated its online resources to help consumers guard themselves from identity theft.

Did you know that in 2014, 17.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft? Estimated losses totaled more than $15 billion. While tax season is a vulnerable time for identity theft, cyber hackers and traditional thieves can still trick consumers into exposing personal and financial information all year long. Be sure to know what identity theft looks like and learn how to protect yourself.

What is identity theft?
Identity theft is the fraudulent use of a person’s personal ID information used for financial gain. Identity thieves can use a person’s Social Security Number, mother’s maiden name, date of birth, or account number to open fraudulent new credit card accounts, charge existing credit card accounts, or obtain new loans.

How can I protect myself?

  1. Keep track of your monthly statements. As discussed in a previous MoneyLine post, monthly statements matter. They provide an overall summary of the activity associated with your account. If you notice something out of place, whether it’s an account you didn’t open, purchases you didn’t make, or other unfamiliar activity -- report it immediately. Call PFCU Member Services and let us know that you see suspicious activity on your account.
  2. Monitor your credit reports on a regular basis. Credit reports will help reveal signs of identity theft and can be requested annually at no charge. For more information on free annual credit reports and professional counseling, visit our credit tools resource page on PFCU.com
  3. Learn from the experts. MyCreditUnion.gov is hosted by the National Credit Union Association and operates as a financial literacy resource library, offering a wide range of information articles on finance and fraud prevention. Want to talk to a human? Give a PFCU Member Services Representative a call at 215-934-3500. We’re happy to work with you to identify suspicious activity and resolve any fraudulent purchases.
For NCUA’s full online resource page regarding Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, click here.
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Please note that the amount of money contained in your investment accounts are considered non-deposit products and therefore, are not NCUA insured, not credit union guaranteed, may lose value, are not guaranteed by any government agency. Since they are not a deposit of the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, investment accounts do not qualify for Excess Share Insurance (ESI). Securities, Financial Planning and Insurance products are offered through LPL Financial, and its affiliates, Member FINRA, SIPC. LPL Financial and Philadelphia Federal Credit Union are independent entities.