The rate of identity theft-related fraud continues to rise. In 2016 alone, over $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers*. The following information has been provided to help protect you from the many types of financial fraud and identity theft. Select a topic below to learn how to identify a fraud or scam, how to protect your personal information and how to report it if you have become a victim of fraud.
The internet provides scammers, hackers, and identity thieves a place where they can steal your personal information – and your money. But there are steps you can take to protect your computer, your information, and your online files.
- Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them all regularly. If you let your operating system, web browser, or security software get out-of-date, criminals can track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge, or sneak malware onto your computer which they can use to break into other computers or send spam. Anti-virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files.
- Backup your files regularly.
- When entering personal account information, verify that you are on a secure website. If the website is secure, you will find "https" in the address and a closed padlock in your browser's toolbar.
- Safeguard your personal information online. Never give your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and bank and utility account numbers via e-mail. Your credit union will never request personal information via email.
- Do not respond to spam email. Download files with caution.
- When you’re online and are asked for your personal information, think about whether you can really trust the request. Before clicking on an offer or ad, research the company by typing the company or product name into the search bar of your favorite search engine with terms like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” . If you can’t find contact information for the company, or there are bad reviews, take your business elsewhere.
- Keep your passwords safe. Create passwords that are at least 10 characters long and are a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Don't use the same password for many accounts. Keep your passwords in a secure place out of site and never share passwords on the phone, text or email.
- Review your financial accounts regularly and report any discrepancy immediately.
File a Complaint
If you are a victim of an internet crime contact us immediately. Then, report the crime to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Report A Scam
If you have received an email, phone call or text from an imposter, file a complaint at the FTC Federal Complaint Assistant.