By Marie MacGlashin, Director of Deposit Operations, Marine Credit Union
Now more than ever it is important to be on the look out for scams and to protect yourself from identity theft. Scammers are out there and may steal your information, typically for economic gain.
The most common types of identity theft are related to taxes, medical, child and social security identity theft.
Signs of identity theft include:
- Unknown transactions on bank or credit card statements.
- Discrepancies on credit reports, including accounts the consumer didn’t open, loans the consumer never applied for or denial of a credit application.
- Consumers not receiving bills or other mail they expected to receive.
- Calls from creditors for unpaid bills a consumer didn’t rack up himself or herself.
- A letter from the IRS saying the wage amount on a social security statement doesn’t match the amount filed on a tax return.
How to protect yourself against identity theft:
- Monitor your credit card and bank account statements often for transactions you don’t recognize. Often, thieves will start with very small dollar amounts assuming you will overlook them.
- Monitor your credit report to see when your credit report is being run by a bank, car dealership, landlord, etc. Use apps like Credit Karma or memberships to major credit reporting agencies to personally monitor your credit each month, or at the very least, each year. Credit report agencies are required to give you a free copy of your credit report annually.
- Dispute inaccurate credit information via credit monitoring agencies.
- Use a personal message on your credit report. For example, “Contact John Smith at 123-456-7890 prior to extending credit.”
- Protect your social security number and other personal information. Never give out your personal information to individuals that contact you online or by phone.
Marine offers many tools to help our members monitor their account activity including a free mobile app, e-alerts and e-statements. If you ever have a question regarding a charge on your account, please contact us at 800-923-7280.