Approximately 3 million complaints were filed in 2018 due to Identity Theft and Fraud, according to The Consumer Network, a company maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Every year Americans lose millions of dollars and their good credit history due to financial fraud. While there are laws and agencies to assist in safe guarding you against these financial crimes, you, ultimately, are responsible for protecting yourself.
There are four major areas of fraud that affect most Americans:
- Credit Card Fraud
- Check Cashing Fraud
- ATM Fraud
- Identity Theft
Unfortunately, fraud crimes aren’t slowing down, but here are tips to help protect yourself, your accounts and your personal information.
Quick action is the key to successfully recovering from identity theft & financial fraud. Don’t wait to protect your information until you suspect that you’ve been compromised. As a PenFed member, you have access to many great tools to make it harder for hackers and thieves to steal your information.
Here's some key tips to protect your information:
- Protect your personal data. Store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially anything containing your Social Security Number.
- Register for text alerts. You will be instantly alerted of suspicious transactions.
- Fraudsters can target their victims by phone and email. Ask questions before deciding to share your personal information. (PenFed will never contact you via phone or email and ask for your card number or your PIN.)
- Maintain appropriate security on your computer and electronic devices. Be sure to keep your antivirus and firewall software up-to-date.
- Change your Passwords regularly. PenFed recommends this be done every 60-90 days.
- Do not reuse passwords. Use different passwords for your various accounts.
- Use a physical home router/firewall between your computer and your cable or DLS modem.
- Online banking & financial transactions should only be conducted on a trusted computer. Never use a public computer for online financial transactions.
- Turn off your computer when not in use.
- Freeze your credit report. A security freeze prevents potential creditors from being able to pull your credit file. When your credit file is frozen, ID thieves will still be able to apply for credit in your name, but will not be able to establish new lines of credit. You are able to unfreeze your credit file anytime and freezing your credit will not affect your credit score.
- Never share or give out your User ID’s or Passwords.
- Review your account and transaction information regularly—at least once a week. If you notice any changes made to your account or any transactions you didn’t make contact us immediately at 1-800-247-5626.
PenFed is invested in the safety and security of your personal and financial information. Our commitment to your privacy includes:
- EMV chip-enabled cards
- $0 liability for unauthorized charges11
- 24/7 fraud monitoring
- Automatic time-outs on PenFed Online to close out inactive log-ins
- Truncated account numbers to help secure electronic statements
While this information is in no way meant to be all-encompassing, it will provide you with good practices to prevent identity theft & fraud from happening to you. Always remember, contact us immediately if you ever suspect fraud on your accounts or if your credit or debit card is ever lost or stolen.
1Visa Zero Liability policy covers U.S.–issued cards only and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholder must notify issuer promptly of any unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional details or visit www.visa.com/security.