July 31, 2017

Your identity is one of your most precious assets – one that should be protected at all costs. That’s why 1st United Credit Union offers several tools and resources to help our members protect their information. Taking a few steps now can save you from a long, expensive battle to regain your good name should you be victimized. These six tips will get you started.

  1. Keep Personal Info Out of the Mail.  Thieves often get personal information from mail either stolen from the mailbox or pulled out of the trash. 1st United Credit Union offers two ways for you to cut down on mail, lowering your risk of having your information stolen. eDocuments delivers your statements and notices through online banking rather than mail. You will be notified by email when your statement is ready.  It’s much more timely and a secure way to get your information. Additionally, online bill pay allows you to securely pay bills and individuals electronically, eliminating the need to write and mail checks that could potentially be taken from your mailbox and altered. Both options cut back on the exposure of your personal information while providing a quicker, more secure way of banking.
  2. Never Give Your Personal or Banking Information. Personal information includes your debit card number, PIN, account number, and online or mobile banking login information. If you need to pay someone, use online bill pay or our Pay a Friend service. With Pay a Friend, you only need the recipient’s email or cell phone number to securely send them money and they never have access to your account number or other personal information.
  3. Monitor Your Accounts. Monitor your accounts regularly. This is the quickest way to identify something out of the ordinary which could be an indication of identity theft. Remember, you can check your bank accounts daily online or through our mobile app. And with eDocuments, you receive your statements in online banking and don’t have to wait for the mail to arrive.
  4. Watch Your Credit Score and Credit Report. A sudden drop to your credit score or inaccurate information on your credit report could be an indicator of a possible issue. 1st United provides our primary members their FICO® Score, updated quarterly. The FICO® Score can be accessed through online or mobile banking. Credit reports can be accessed for free from annualcreditreport.com. Check both your credit score and credit report carefully and be sure to report any discrepancies as soon as possible.
  5. Set Up Account Alerts. Account and fraud text alerts notify you when a transaction occurs over a certain amount, or if there is suspicious activity on your account.  Take time to set them up now – in online banking. 
  6. Enroll in Monitoring. Just as you would insure your home, auto, and health, you should invest resources into protecting yourself against identity crimes, data theft, and the burdens of being victimized. One way to do this is through an identity fraud monitoring company that does the tracking for you. Some even offer insurance that protects you in the event of loss. 1st United Credit Union partners with Identity Fraud, Inc. to offer a variety of protection plans to our members.  The Identity Fraud service can be accessed through the 1st United website.

Instilling good habits now to prevent identity theft can save you a load of trouble later. Be diligent in protecting your personal and account information.  Teach your family about the importance of protecting personal information. If you suspect fraud has occurred, contact your local police department immediately and notify your financial institution as soon as possible so they can place additional safeguards on your account.