Identity Theft

Change of Address: What You Should Know

Are you moving? Preparing to go south for the winter? According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) one of the ways that thieves can steal your identity is diverting your billing statements to another location by fraudulently completing a Change of Address form. For your protection and security we will not change your account address based on U.S. Postal forwarding Notifications, or phone requests.

To change the address on your accounts, you must complete and sign Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union’s Change of Address form. Change of Address forms are available at any of our four convenient locations or you can access the form here. Once the form is filled out and signed it can be mailed or brought in to any of our branches and we will make your updates.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

IC3's mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes.

Click here to visit The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

What is Identity Theft?

The term "Identity Theft" is becoming a common every day phrase. Identity Theft occurs when other people use your personal identification to conduct business as if they were you. Things like social security numbers, birthdays, credit union account information, or credit cards can be used by other people to steal your identity. These thieves not only use money in your accounts, but also can open accounts or take out loans in your name. The act is very damaging to your credit rating and can take months and even years to recover from such a violation.

Here are a few things you can do if you think you have been a victim of Identity Theft:

  • If you feel like you have been a victim of Identity Theft, you are encouraged to call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338.
  • Contact the three major credit reporting agencies. Advise them that you are the victim of identity theft and you want a "fraud alert" placed in your file. Request a copy of your credit report. The credit agencies are required to give you a free copy of your report if your report is inaccurate because of fraud.
  • Contact your creditors about any accounts that have been effected by fraudulent activities.
  • File a report with your local police. Save a copy of the police report.

Take action immediately. Keep records of all your conversations relating to the identify theft: including the date, who the person was you spoke with, and all correspondence.

Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft

Take steps to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of Identity Theft.

  • Take a close look at your financial statements. Look for errors and report them immediately.
  • Make sure your bills arrive on time. If bills are late it may mean that someone has taken them out of your mail box.
  • Pick up your mail from your mailbox as soon as possible. Put all outgoing mail in post office collection bins instead of leaving it in or on your mail box.
  • Do not give out personal information over the phone or through the mail unless you have initiated the contact and know who you are doing business with.
  • Keep your personal information safe. Shred any papers that may have personal identification information on them before throwing them away.
  • Use PIN numbers that are very difficult for thieves to guess.
  • Obtain a copy of your credit report every year to check for errors.

What is Phishing?

Most likely you’ve seen them: email messages asking you to verify personal information over the Internet.

The scam, popularly called ‘phishing,’ involves the use of replicas of existing Web pages to try to deceive you into entering personal, financial or password data. Often suspects use urgency or scare tactics, such as threats to close accounts.

Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union will never ask you via email to verify account information. We will never use email to threaten account closure. Please know this, as one defense against phishing. Other safeguards to help protect you from phishing scams:

  • Be suspicious of any email messages that claims to be from us that use an urgent or scare-tactic tone.
  • Do not respond to email messages asking you to verify personal information.
  • Delete suspicious email messages without opening them. If you do open a suspicious email message, so not open any attachments or click any links.
  • Install and regularly update virus protection software.
  • Keep your computer operating system and Web browser current.

If you see a suspicious-looking email message claiming to be from Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union, please let us know. We continually monitor such reports and act on them promptly.

What is Pharming?

The scam popularly known as ‘phishing’ – email messages trying to deceive you into surrendering personal information over the Internet – today is well known. Competing with it more and more for headlines is a newer scam: pharming.

Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union wants to take a moment to offer you information about pharming, in our ongoing effort to keep our members informed about issues that could impact their online banking experience.

Phishing requires victims to voluntarily visit a criminal’s website; pharming simply redirects victims to fraudulent websites without assistance. Pharming subverts a basic service of the Internet known as the ‘Domain Name Service,’ or ‘DNS.’ Each machine connected to the Internet knows the location of one or more DNS servers. This service translates a human-friendly URL name such as www.diamondvalleyfcu.org into an IP address, which is a unique number that has been assigned to each web server on the Internet.

To execute pharming, suspects first must gain access to the DNS server used by many people, such as the server of an ISP. Once accessed, the suspect will replace the IP number for the financial institution’s URL with the IP number of his or her fraudulent website. When this occurs, any person using that DNS server will be redirected, silently, to the fraudulent website.

The good news is pharming requires either an unpatched software/server vulnerability to exist on the DNS server itself, or the criminal needs an insider at the ISP or financial institution to make unauthorized DNS server changes. This is rare.

Please be assured that Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union manages and updates its DNS server’s software to maintain a high level of security. We maintain the highest standards; our customers are protected from pharming that would result from a compromise of our DNS server.

How to Report Identity Theft

Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union wants to offer you something we hope you never have to use. This email message offers information about what to do if you become a victim of a phishing scam or identity theft.

Phishing, of course, involves the use of replicas of existing Web pages to try to deceive you into entering personal, financial or password data. Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union recommends that you never respond to email messages asking you to verify personal information. But accidents happen, and the following information could be useful if you’ve been scammed.

If you have given out your credit, debit or ATM card information:

  • Report the incident to the card issuer immediately
  • Cancel your account and open a new one
  • Review billing statements carefully after the incident
  • If the statements show unauthorized charges, send a letter to the card issuer via regular mail (keep a copy) describing each questionable charge

Credit Card Loss or Fraudulent Charges
Your maximum liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50 (policies vary). If the loss involves your credit card number, but not the card itself, you have no liability for unauthorized use; in general, you may only be liable for a very small amount but always check with your individual card company for their exact policy.

Your liability depends on how quickly the loss is reported. You risk unlimited loss by failing to report an unauthorized transfer within 60 days after your bank statement containing unauthorized use is mailed to you.

If you have given out your bank account information:

  • Report the theft to the bank as quickly as possible
  • Cancel your account and open a new one

If you have downloaded a virus or ‘Trojan Horse’:

  • Some phishing attacks use viruses and/or a ‘Trojan Horse’ to install programs called "key loggers" on your computer. These programs capture and distribute any information you type to the phisher, including credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, Social Security Numbers, etc.
  • If this occurs, you likely may not be aware.
  • To minimize this risk, you should:
    • Install and/or update anti-virus and personal firewall software
    • Update all virus definitions and run a full scan
  • If your system still appears compromised, fix it and then change your password again.

Check your other accounts – suspects may have accessed different accounts: eBay account, PayPal, your email ISP, online bank accounts, and other e-commerce accounts.

If you have given out your personal identification information:
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. If you have given this information to a phisher, you should do the following:

  • Report the theft to the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion Corporation
  • Request that they place a fraud alert and a victim’s statement in your file
  • Request a FREE copy of your credit report to check whether any accounts were opened without your consent
  • Request that the agencies remove inquiries and/or fraudulent accounts stemming from the theft

Major Credit Bureaus:
Equifax - www.equifax.com
Experian - www.experian.com
Trans Union - www.transunion.com

Identify Theft Resources:
www.consumer.gov/idtheft/
www.identity-theft-help.us
www.identitytheft.org
usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/idtheft.html

Notify your bank(s) and ask them to flag your account and contact you regarding any unusual activity: If bank accounts were set up without your consent, close them; If your ATM card was stolen, get a new card, account number and PIN; Contact your local police department to file a criminal report; Contact the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline to report the unauthorized use of your personal identification information; Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of your identity theft; Check to see whether an unauthorized license number has been issued in your name; Notify the passport office to watch for anyone ordering a passport in your name; File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission; Ask for a free copy of "ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen in Your Good Name"; File a complaint with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center(IFCC).

For victims of Internet fraud, IFCC provides a convenient and easy reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations.

Document the names and phone numbers of everyone you speak with regarding the incident. Follow-up your phone calls with letters. Keep copies of all correspondence.

Fraudulent/Counterfeit Checks

There has been a substantial increase in the amount of fraudulent activity taking place at local financial institutions, specifically fraudulent/counterfeit checks. With our member's safety in mind, please don't be surprised if your teller takes a moment to check the credibility of your large dollar amount checks. This is a simple process that will help you avoid potential scams, and possibly save you lots of money.

If you receieve a letter stating that you have won a "sweepstakes" or "lottery", it is probably a scam! Don't believe it, especially if the letter tells you not to tell anyone where the check came from. Bring the letter and check to Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union. We can confirm its validity. Counterfeit and fraudulent checks will cost you money!

Please review the check list below regarding fraudulent/counterfeit checks:

FBI Fraud Alert! Don't Get Ripped Off!

Educate Yourself to Prevent Fake Check Scams

Fake check scams are a fast-growing fraud that could cost you thousands of dollars. It all starts when someone gives you a realistic-looking check or money order and asks you to wire them money somewhere in return. It's phony, and so is the person's story, but that may take weeks - even months - to discover. Now your financial institution wants the money back. The credit union is required to give you access to the funds you deposit within a few days, but they can't be sure the check is valid by then. So guess what? You're responsible for the checks or money orders you deposit. That's how the scam works!

FakeChecks.org is a great resource for consumers to learn more about fake check scams. The website provides real-life victim interviews, check fraud warning signs, fraud tests to determine if you are at risk, and tools for prevention.

If you feel like you may be a victim of check fraud, contact Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union immediately.

Call the Credit Union to Report Identity Theft

Call Diamond Valley Federal Credit Union if you think you have been a victim of identity theft. Call (812) 425-5152 or (800) 772-0638.

Informational Articles from the Home & Family Finance Resource Center

Catching the Bad Guys: Credit Unions Look Out for Members' Safety

Real or Fake--Can You Tell Phish From Foul?

Frauds Against the Elderly: Hang Up the Phone, Lock the Door, Bury Your Checkbook!

 

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