NCUA Posts ID Theft Resources for Consumers
New resources are available from the National Credit Union Administration to help consumers protect themselves from identity theft and take action if they believe they have been victimized. According to the NCUA, more than 17.5 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014, which resulted in more than $15 billion in losses. The NCUA has updated its MyCreditUnion.gov website in conjunction with those efforts. The NCUA webpage explains the basics of identity theft, how to uncover it and how to repair potential damage.
Steps to prevent identity theft include:
- Get an Identity Protection (IP) PIN from the IRS. An IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers that helps prevent the misuse of Social Security numbers on fraudulent federal income tax returns;
- Check mail and credit union account statements every month. If you discover an account you did not open, balance discrepancy or a purchase you did not make, contact the financial institution or creditor immediately to report the activity;
- Monitor your credit reports on a regular basis. Information on credit reports, why they matter and how to obtain three free credit numbers annually is available at the NCUA’s Credit Reports and Credit Scores learning center; and
- Talk to your credit union about the identity theft resources they may offer. Most credit unions offer or partner with companies that offer services and materials to help their members safeguard their accounts.
Other resources available from the NCUA include: a Frauds and Scams page, fraud prevention YouTube videos and an identity theft prevention page.