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The Thieves You Can’t See

Identity theft is a BIG problem—in fact, identity theft hit a record high in 2016, striking 15.4 million people. Kirtland FCU is striking back. We’re committed to safeguarding your personal and financial information through advanced security techniques and monitoring. So, what else can you do?

Kirtland FCU partners with Identity Fraud, Inc. to offer a comprehensive suite of protection products that help minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

  • SSN Monitoring – to catch thieves using your social security number
  • Credit Monitoring – to identify unusual activity so you can take action
  • Credit Card Monitoring – scours chat rooms and online activity for your credit card information to identify potential fraud
  • DataSweep Monitoring – to identify your personal information online and alert you
  • Identity Insurance – should the worst happen, you’ll be covered
Cover yourself with these protective services, and more, for less than $3 a month.

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Though the overall number of victims hit an all-time high in 2016, the amount of loss per victim actually decreased, thanks to higher awareness and faster action on the part of the victim and their financial institution. Here are a few techniques thieves may use to attempt to steal personal information.

 
The attack: Phishing
What it is: The use of fake e-mails or text messages that appear to come from legitimate sources.
What you can do: Don’t respond. A legitimate company will never ask for personal information or financial information over e-mail. If you haven’t initiated the communication, contact the company or institution yourself to verify, especially if the communication asks for data or money. Kirtland FCU will NEVER contact you via e-mail asking for personal information.
 
The attack: Pharming
What it is: Directs users to a spoofed website where personal information is captured (such as log-in information).
What you can do: Check the URL of any website before entering any information. Better yet, type the URL of the site yourself and navigate to what you need, rather than clicking a link.
 
The attack: Skimming
What it is: The theft of credit or debit card information typically completed using a device that reads the magnetic strip.
What you can do: This point-of-sale version of identity theft is common at gas stations, ATMs, and other business with card readers that are not physically monitored. If you feel unusual movement or your card is difficult to swipe, abort your transaction and notify the vendor and your credit card company.
 
The attack: Malware
What it is: This is a computer attack that installs software on your computer when you click an infected link. The software, called malware or spyware, is designed to steal and transmit personal information.
What you can do: Don’t click any link if you’re not 100% sure of the destination. Also, make sure your computer security programs and firewalls are up to date and operational.
 
The attack: Data Breach
What it is: More and more common, data breaches are security incidents in which sensitive, protected, or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, or used by an unauthorized party.
What you can do: Monitor your credit cards and checking accounts frequently for any unauthorized transactions or unusual activity. If you find any, alert your card company or Kirtland FCU so we may take steps to protect your accounts. We may reissue cards in the event of a data breach to stop any theft before it occurs.
 
The attack: Dumpster Diving
What it is: Obtaining personal information by digging through trash for statements, receipts, or other personal or financial information.
What you can do: Shred! Make sure all documents containing your personal information or financial data are shredded prior to disposal. You can also sign up for e-Statement through Online Banking and eliminate the possibility of this form of identity theft.
 
The attack: Address Change/Mail Forwarded
What it is: Unauthorized forwarding of your mail to an identity thief.
What you can do: If you don’t receive a monthly statement that you normally would, contact the company immediately to inform them. You can also go paperless with many vendors, eliminating the opportunity for thieves to redirect your mail.
 
No matter the method, early detection is key. Three credit bureaus monitor your activity, and you have access to credit reports from each of them at annualcreditreport.com.

ATMs are convenient—but that convenience also makes them an attractive target for thieves. Following a few simple guidelines can help keep you and your information safe. 

  • Never tell anyone your PIN. ATM transactions require this number combination, and it’s the biggest safeguard you have against unauthorized activity. Do not write it down, tell anyone, or let someone else enter the code for you. Memorize it.
  • Take your receipt with you. Do not leave it at or near the ATM.
  • Do not give out information about your ATM card over the phone. Kirtland FCU will never ask you for your PIN.
  • Report a lost or stolen card immediately. Prompt reporting reduces the chance someone will use it fraudulently. To report a lost or stolen credit card or report fraudulent activity, call: 1-800-449-7728. To report a lost or stolen debit card or report fraudulent activity, give us a call at 1-800-880-5328​.
  • Check your receipts against your monthly statements. Verify each transaction.
There are physical safeguards you can follow while using an ATM that will also help protect your money as well as your safety.
  • Always check your surroundings before beginning the transaction. If you see something suspicious, leave the area.
  • If the ATM is poorly lit or obstructed from view, try another ATM.
  • Have your card out and ready. Minimizing the time you spend at the ATM is crucial. Also, digging through a bag or wallet can distract you from your surroundings.
  • Block the view of the transaction. Stand between the ATM and any other person in the area so others cannot see your PIN entry or transaction amount.
  • Strength in numbers. When possible, take a companion along to an ATM, especially at night.
  • If you see anything suspicious, cancel your transaction and leave the area.
  • If anyone follows you after an ATM transaction, go immediately to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police.

While we’re working in the background to identify and stop identity theft and fraud, you can take advantage of powerful account management tools that let you keep your fingers on the pulse of your financial wellbeing.

  • Online Banking – Instantly check your accounts for cleared transactions, pending transactions, scheduled transfers, and more.
  • Account Alerts – Available through Online Banking, you sign up for text and e-mail alerts for unusual account activity, or to notify you of an account falling below a certain threshold.
  • Code Word – Did you know that you can put a Code Word on your account for an extra layer of security? Anyone calling to do business on your account OR as a signer on your account will be asked for the Code Word before any information is discussed over the phone, ensuring you and other authorized signers are the only ones with access to your money and information.
  • e-Statements – Enroll in e-Statements through Online Banking to reduce the amount of paper you receive—and the amount of information that could potentially fall into the wrong hands. You’ll receive your statements via your secured Online Banking account. (That also means you’ll get your statements sooner!)