Protecting Your Personal Information

Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in North America.  It happens when someone steals your personal information and then assume your identity when acquiring credit.

Ways They Might Get Your Personal Information

- They steal wallets and purses.

- They find personal information in your home.

- They steal your mail.

- They find information in your garbage.

- They use personal information you share on the Internet.

- They buy your personal information from other thieves. 

Ways They Might Use Your Personal Information

- They can contact your credit card company and make changes by pretending to be you.

- They can open a new credit card in your name.

- They can set up a phone in your name, open a bank account (and write bad cheques), get cable or electrical services in your name, etc.                                                                                      

- They can counterfeit cheques or obtain debit cards.

- They can buy vehicles or even mortgage your home!

Protecting the confidentiality and security of your personal informtion is one of your Credit Union's top priorities.       

Credit Unions actively work to detect and investigage any irregular activity in your accounts. MasterCardTM has a similar monitoring system.  When you use your debit and credit cards, as soon as you enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at the ATM or Point-of-Sale machine, it is automatically scrambled before it's sent on the network and the transaction begins.  Credit Unions also have in-house policies on the usage and security of members' personal information.

Protecting Your PIN is Up to You                

We are often too careless about the "keys" to our financial accounts and financial information.  Protecting your PIN is a vital part of keeping your finances secure.  It is the only things that stands between a thief and your bank account.

- Keep your debit card in a safe place and don't lend it to anyone, including family and friends.

- Memorize your PIN.  Don't write it down or attach it to your card (or carry it in your purse/wallet).

- Don't share your PIN with anyone.

- When selecting your PIN, don't pick the obvious.  Your name, children's names, dates of birth, telephone numbers are all easy to guess.  Pick something random and memorize it.

Your Safety is All our Responsibilities

Take careful steps to guard your PIN, when you are making a point-of-sale purchase, make sure your debit or credit card is in your sight at all times, and monitor your account / statement to watch for unusual activity.  If any transaction looks suspicious, or if you suspect your card or PIN have been compromised, report it right away.

If you have any questions about Eagle River Credit Union's security measures, or for more information on protecting your identity, call or email us  today. 

 

Source: Protect Your Identity brochure - A Credit Union Central of Canada Publication

 

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