Tips To Avoid Becoming a Victim

  1. Check your statementsor use Tellie On Line to check your account.
  2. Report discrepancies to the Credit Union immediately.
  3. Watch your credit. Monitor your credit and protect against identity theft. Equifax Credit Watch™ delivers the peace-of-mind you deserve - quickly and easily! Order copies of your credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. They are: Equifax, 800-685-1111, P.O. Box 105851, Atlanta, GA 30348,; TransUnion, 800-888-4213, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022,; and Experian, 888-397-3742, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, Report errors promptly and in writing.
  4. Never disclose your personal data. Never divulge information such as Social Security number, birth date, or mother's maiden name unless you initiate the transaction. On paper documents, don't include such data unless required to do so on an official application for employment, financing, or insurance. Never put such information on personal Web pages or publicly posted résumés or directories.
  5. Don't carry ID that contains sensitive data like your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary.
  6. Safeguard your driver's license and other government ID at all times. Lock desks, cabinets, and safes containing such information in your office and home.
  7. Shred and destroy.Before throwing out files containing Social Security numbers, account numbers, and birth dates, shred them with a cross-cut shredder. Destroy CDs or floppy disks containing sensitive data by shredding, cutting, or breaking them. Use hard-drive shredding software or remove and destroy your hard drive before discarding a computer. Just deleting files isn't enough.
  8. Guard mail. Consider using a locked mailbox or slot to receive mail at home. Deposit mail in postal mailboxes or in the post office to discourage mail theft.
  9. Avoid Skimming.Try not to let waiters, sales clerks, or gas-station attendants disappear from view with your credit or debit card, to avoid "skimming." Crooks can use a handheld card reader to copy the information from your card's magnetic strip.
  10. Avoid using private or strange-looking automated teller machines.They may be rigged to skim data off your card's magnetic strip. Six-or seven-character PINs (personal identification numbers) are harder to crack than shorter ones, but you may not be able to use them at machines abroad.
  11. Watch out for"shoulder surfers"when using pay phones or public Internet access. Use your free hand to shield the keypad.
  12. Don't use cordless phonesto conduct sensitive financial or medical business, because eavesdroppers on other phones and those using eavesdropping equipment may be able to overhear your conversations.
  13. Firewalls and Virus Software.Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computers to discourage hackers.
  14. Log off. Quit your browser and log off after using public Internet-access computers in libraries, Internet cafes, and the like. Don't pay bills, bank, or conduct other financial transactions on public computers. If you have a high-speed Internet connection at home, unplug the computer's cable or phone line when you are not using it to discourage hackers.
  15. Deal only with reputable Web sites. Check privacy and security policies of Web sites before making purchases, trading stocks, or banking online. A professional-looking Web site is no guarantee of security. Don't respond to unsolicited e-mail requests for personal information. Call the company if you are unsure of the site.
  16. Report suspicious activity to the FTC.Send the actual spam to If you believe you've been scammed, file your complaint at, and then visit the FTC's Identity Theft Web site ( to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from identity theft. Visit to learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam.
  17. Remember if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is.