Identity fraud happens when someone steals personal information such as your account number or Social Security number and then uses this information for an illegal activity. They may attempt unauthorized purchases or withdrawals from your accounts or may try to apply for credit in your name.
Tips on preventing identity fraud
- Be cautious when providing personal information such as your Social Security number and account or credit card information over the telephone, in person, or on the Internet. Don’t give out this information unless you have initiated the contact or you have done your due diligence to be certain your information is safe.
- Protect your Social Security number and the Social Security numbers of your children or other family members by not carrying them in your wallet.
- Report lost or stolen checks, credit or debit cards immediately. Bellco will block payment on the check numbers or account numbers involved.
- Limit the number of credit card pre-approved offers you receive by removing your name from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). To opt out, visit optoutprescreen.com to get started.
- Shred old credit card receipts, ATM receipts, account statements, unused credit cards. or any pre-approved credit offers to which you do not respond. Thieves can use these items to assume your identity.
- Store cancelled checks, new checks, and account statements in a safe place.
- Notify Bellco of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to “verify a statement” or “award a prize.”
- Review your credit report at least once every year. Make sure all information is up-to-date and accurate.
- Memorize your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and other passwords and refrain from writing them down. Also, don’t write your Social Security number or credit card number on a check.
- Keep mail secure. Don’t mail bills or sensitive information from your home or unsecured mailboxes. Retrieve and review your mail promptly. Thieves may use personal information contained in your mail to steal your identity. Find out more about Bellco’s Bill Pay services.
- If you do not receive your regular bills when expected, call the company to find out why.
- Review your monthly account statements thoroughly. Investigate suspicious items immediately to head off any possible fraud before it occurs.
- Carry only the minimum amount of identifying information and credit cards that you need on a day-to-day basis.
Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Think twice before responding to offers that promise too much.
If you are a victim of identity fraud, take the following steps:
Call Bellco immediately at 303-689-7800 or 1-800-BELLCO-1.
Any written correspondence should be mailed to Bellco Credit Union, Loss Mitigation, P.O. Box 6011, Greenwood Village, CO 80111.
Other steps that can be taken include:
- If you have signed up for the Identity Protection Plan from Identity Fraud, Inc., call them at 1-866-4ID-FRAUD or 1-866-443-3728.
- Visit www.IdentityTheft.gov to create a recovery plan.
- Contact the major credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 or www.equifax.com
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 or www.transunion.com
To place a credit freeze on your credit report:
- Equifax: 1-888-298-0045 or www.equifax.com/freeze
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com/freeze
- TransUnion: 1-833-395-6938 or www.transunion.com/freeze
- Request a free copy of your credit report from one of the credit reporting agencies above or through www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Contact other creditors, such as: credit card companies, utility and phone providers, and other financial institutions.
- File a report with the local police. Save a copy of the police report as proof of criminal activity.
Other information sources
- As a valued member of Bellco, you receive Identity Fraud, Inc., solutions at a discount. Program benefits include, $1 million identity insurance, triple bureau credit monitoring, IF cyber monitoring, criminal records monitoring, family protection, and more.
- Visit the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft website. This is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect, and defend against identity theft.