DEBIT Card Fraud Alert
Please be advised of a recent Debit Card scam. The targeted individual receives a text message indicating that their Debit card has been deactivated or cancelled. The individual is given phone number to call and verify personal information. This is a SCAM! TECU will NOT initiate a text notifying you that your Debit card has been cancelled. Do not provide your account or personal information unless you have initiated the call. If you receive a text or phone call of this nature, please contact us immediately at 316-263-5756.
What is a Fraud Alert
There are two types of fraud alerts: an initial alert and an extended alert.
An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for at least 90 days.
You may ask that an initial fraud alert be placed on your credit report if you suspect you have been, or are about to be, a victim of identity theft. An initial alert is appropriate if your wallet has been stolen or if you’ve been taken in by a “phishing” scam. With an initial fraud alert, potential creditors must use what the law refers to as “reasonable policies and procedures” to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. However, the steps potential creditors take to verify your identity may not always alert them that the applicant is not you. When you place an initial fraud alert on your credit report, you’re entitled to order one free credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies, and, if you ask, only the last four digits of your Social Security number will appear on your credit reports.
An extended fraud alert stays on your credit report for seven years.
You can have an extended alert placed on your credit report if you’ve been a victim of identity theft and you provide the consumer reporting company with an Identity Theft Report . An automated Identity Theft Report, such as the printed ID Theft Complaint available from the Federal Trade Commission website, should be sufficient to obtain an extended fraud alert. With an extended fraud alert, potential creditors must actually contact you, or meet with you in person, before they issue you credit. When you place an extended alert on your credit report, you’re entitled to two free credit reports within twelve months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. In addition, the consumer reporting companies will remove your name from marketing lists for pre-screened credit offers for five years unless you ask them to put your name back on the list before then.
To place either of these alerts on your credit report, or to have them removed, you will be required to provide appropriate proof of your identity: that may include your Social Security number, name, address and other personal information requested by the consumer reporting company.
As mentioned, depending on the type of fraud alert you place, potential creditors must either contact you or take reasonable steps to verify your identity. This may cause some delays if you’re trying to obtain credit. To compensate for possible delays, you may wish to include a cell phone number, where you can be reached easily, in your alert. Remember to keep all contact information in your alert current.
For More Information
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To learn more about credit issues and protecting your personal information, visit http://ftc.gov/credit.
To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a video, How to File a Complaint, at ftc.gov/video to learn more. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Please visit the FTC's online guidance for additional steps to protect yourself against identity theft. Visit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
You have the right to a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.
Safeguarding Your Inforamtion
The security of your member information is our priority at TECU Credit Union, and one of the best ways to avoid fraud is to become an educated consumer. Please take a moment to read these important tips on how to ensure safety when conducting business online.
1. Set good passwords and use strong challenge questions.
A good password is one that contains upper and lowercase letters, making it difficult for hackers to guess. Special characters — such as #!%@ — when allowed in a password, provide added security. Strong challenge questions have answers that are not readily known by others or that cannot be easily obtained. Change your passwords and challenge questions frequently and do not write these down to share with others.
2. Don't reveal personal information.
It’s easy for criminals to mask emails, text messages, and phone calls to make them appear that they are coming from a trusted source. Play it safe — do not provide account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, or other similar personal information to anyone who contacts you without you having first contacted them.
3. Don't download files from unsolicited emails.
Opening files attached to emails or from unknown sources on the Internet can allow harmful malware or viruses to be downloaded onto your computer. Make sure your computer’s antivirus program is always up to date and open only files that you receive from trusted sources.
5. Log off from sites when your transactions are complete.
When you are ready to leave a website, be sure to log off, don’t just close the page.
6. Monitor your account activity regularly.
Check your account regularly online or by reviewing your monthly statements and report any unauthorized transactions right away. To help you monitor your account, TECU offers the following additional email and text alerts:
- When your account is accessed.
- When large dollar transactions occur.
- When your password and email address changes.
You can also periodically obtain credit reports from each nationwide credit reporting agency. To order, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
7. Assess your risk.
TECU recommends that you periodically assess your risk, particularly if you are a business member, and increase security controls where weaknesses are found. Items to consider when assessing your risk are:
- Who has access to your accounts?
- Where are user names and passwords stored and how are they accessed?
- How strong are your passwords and challenge questions and how often are they changed?
Rights and Responsibilities
With respect to online and electronic fund transfers, the Federal government has put in place rights and responsibilities for both you and TECU. These rights and responsibilities are described in the Account Information Disclosures you received when you opened your account with TECU. You may also contact us to obtain updated copies of these disclosures at any time. Contact TECU immediately at 316-263-5756 if you notice suspicious account activity or experience security-related events.
Don't be a target of fraud or identity theft.
Credit Reports Access
Access to Free Credit Reports
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s consumer reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to consumer reporting companies.
A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.
Here are the details about your rights under the FCRA, which established the free annual credit report program:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I order my free report?
A: The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.
To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The form is on the back of this brochure; or you can print it from ftc.gov/credit. Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228, and Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your report from each of the companies one at a time. The law allows you to order one free copy of your report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies every 12 months.
A Warning About “Imposter” Websites
Only one website is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law — annualcreditreport.com. Other websites that claim to offer “free credit reports,” “free credit scores,” or “free credit monitoring” are not part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program. In some cases, the “free” product comes with strings attached. For example, some sites sign you up for a supposedly “free” service that converts to one you have to pay for after a trial period. If you don’t cancel during the trial period, you may be unwittingly agreeing to let the company start charging fees to your credit card.
Some “imposter” sites use terms like “free report” in their names; others have URLs that purposely misspell annualcreditreport.com in the hope that you will mistype the name of the official site. Some of these “imposter” sites direct you to other sites that try to sell you something or collect your personal information.
Annualcreditreport.com and the nationwide consumer reporting companies will not send you an email asking for your personal information. If you get an email, see a pop-up ad, or get a phone call from someone claiming to be from annualcreditreport.com or any of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies, do not reply or click on any link in the message. It’s probably a scam. Forward any such email to the FTC at email@example.com.
Q: What information do I need to provide to get my free report?
A: You need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. To maintain the security of your file, each nationwide consumer reporting company may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information each has in your file may come from different sources.
Q: Why do I want a copy of my credit report?
A: Your credit report has information that affects whether you can get a loan — and how much you will have to pay to borrow money. You want a copy of your credit report to:
- Make sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for a loan for a major purchase like a house or car, buy insurance, or apply for a job.
- Help guard against identity theft. That’s when someone uses your personal information — like your name, your Social Security number, or your credit card number — to commit fraud. Identity thieves may use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job.
Q: How long does it take to get my report after I order it?
A: If you request your report online at annualcreditreport.com, you should be able to access it immediately. If you order your report by calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228, your report will be processed and mailed to you within 15 days. If you order your report by mail using the Annual Credit Report Request Form, your request will be processed and mailed to you within 15 days of receipt.
Whether you order your report online, by phone, or by mail, it may take longer to receive your report if the nationwide consumer reporting company needs more information to verify your identity.
Q: Are there any other situations where I might be eligible for a free report?
A: Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, and you ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company. You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. Otherwise, a consumer reporting company may charge you up to $11.00 for another copy of your report within a 12-month period.
To buy a copy of your report, contact:
- Equifax:1-800-685-1111; equifax.com
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742; experian.com
- TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800; transunion.com
Q: Should I order a report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies?
A: It’s up to you. Because nationwide consumer reporting companies get their information from different sources, the information in your report from one company may not reflect all, or the same, information in your reports from the other two companies. That’s not to say that the information in any of your reports is necessarily inaccurate; it just may be different.
Q: Should I order my reports from all three of the nationwide consumer reporting companies at the same time?
A: You may order one, two, or all three reports at the same time, or you may stagger your requests. It’s your choice. Some financial advisors say staggering your requests during a 12-month period may be a good way to keep an eye on the accuracy and completeness of the information in your reports.
Q: What if I find errors — either inaccuracies or incomplete information — in my credit report?
A: Under the FCRA, both the consumer reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a consumer reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To take full advantage of your rights under this law, contact the consumer reporting company and the information provider.
- Tell the consumer reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate.
Consumer reporting companies must investigate the items in question — usually within 30 days — unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all the relevant data you provide about the inaccuracy to the organization that provided the information. After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the consumer reporting company, it must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results back to the consumer reporting company. If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide consumer reporting companies so they can correct the information in your file.
When the investigation is complete, the consumer reporting company must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. (This free report does not count as your annual free report under the FACT Act.) If an item is changed or deleted, the consumer reporting company cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies that it is accurate and complete. The consumer reporting company also must send you written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the information provider.
- Tell the creditor or other information provider in writing that you dispute an item. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider reports the item to a consumer reporting company, it must include a notice of your dispute. And if you are correct — that is, if the information is found to be inaccurate — the information provider may not report it again.
Q: What can I do if the consumer reporting company or information provider won't correct the information I dispute?
A: If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute with the consumer reporting company, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. You also can ask the consumer reporting company to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past. You can expect to pay a fee for this service.
If you tell the information provider that you dispute an item, a notice of your dispute must be included any time the information provider reports the item to a consumer reporting company.
Q: How long can a consumer reporting company report negative information?
A: A consumer reporting company can report most accurate negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information for 10 years. There is no time limit on reporting information about criminal convictions; information reported in response to your application for a job that pays more than $75,000 a year; and information reported because you’ve applied for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance. Information about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer.
Q: Can anyone else get a copy of my credit report?
A: The FCRA specifies who can access your credit report. Creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use the information in your report to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home are among those that have a legal right to access your report.
Q: Can my employer get my credit report?
A: Your employer can get a copy of your credit report only if you agree. A consumer reporting company may not provide information about you to your employer, or to a prospective employer, without your written consent.