The information and links found on these pages can help you minimize your risk, help to prevent identity theft (ID theft), and help you should you become a victim. We encourage you to visit these links. The links offer a wealth of information. It's important that you be very careful with your personal information and that you know what to do if you become a victim of ID theft.
Our Identity Theft Center contains information on the following.
- What is Identity Theft?
- Welcome Federal Credit Union - Protecting Your Identity
- Important Identity Theft Resource Links
- How Can I Avoid Identity Theft?
- How Do I Know If I'm A Victim Of Identity Theft?
- What Should I Do If I Become A Victim?
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is the unlawful capture and/or use of another person's identifiers (your name, address, Social Security number, financial institution or credit card account numbers, or other identifying information). The thief, impersonating you, uses your information without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes to gain financial benefit. Unfortunately, identity theft is a growing problem in this country. Victims number in the hundreds of thousands every year.
Welcome Federal Credit Union - Protecting Your Identity
Substantial measures are in place at Welcome Federal Credit Union (WFCU) to protect your identity and your accounts against theft and fraud. For example, stringent Credit Union Privacy Notice protect your personal information. Multi-factor authentication password protection for online transactions helps assure online security. When using our online services, you develop a password that only you know. Encryption of online transactions converts your information into secure code, protecting you against hackers.
Please remember, Welcome Federal Credit Union will not ask for your personal identification or financial information via email. If you receive any such email request, DO NOT click on any link or enter any information and notify us immediately at 919-474-3254 or call us toll-free at 1-888-932-8148.
Any email that purports to be from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and asks for account information should be considered a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal account data for an illegal purpose.
Visit Our Fraud Prevention Center for important fraud prevention resource links and information on advance-fee loans, counterfeit checks, credit card fraud, lottery scams, Nigerian scams, pharming, phishing, scam alerts information, skimming, and vishing/caller ID spoofing.
Important Identity Theft Resource Links
When you leave Welcome Federal Credit Union's (WFCU) website and enter a website hosted by another party, the products and services accessed through the site are not provided or guaranteed by Welcome Federal Credit Union. WFCU does not represent either the third-party website or you, if you enter into an agreement or transaction. The links are provided for the convenience of informational purposes only.
Please be advised that you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of our website. We encourage you to read and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site which you are entering, which may be different than ours.
- Federal Trade Commission
- Deter-Detect-Report Fraud
- Tools for Identity Theft Victims
- North Carolina Department of Justice, Protect Yourself From Fraud
- Freeze Your Credit - How to place a freeze
- ID Theft Victims - Steps to take when your identity has been stolen.
- Identity Theft.gov
- Anytime Adviser ID Theft Coach
- OnGuardOnline.gov provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.
- WFCU's eStatements (Statement Express)
- WFCU's Virtual Branch Home Banking
- WFCU's Bill Pay (PayIT)
- Fraud recognition & prevention education
- Identity Theft Resource Center
How Can I Avoid Identity Theft?
- Never give out personal information (Social Security numbers, mother's maiden name, or financial account numbers) on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or you're sure that you know you're dealing with a legitimate organization. Confirm the contact by calling the company back using a phone number from a statement or from the telephone book (not a phone number the person who is calling gives you). You may check an organization's website by typing its URL in the address line, rather than cutting and pasting it. Many companies post scam alerts when their name is used improperly.
- Before providing identifying information, especially your Social Security number, ask if the information is required. Also, ask if you can use other types of identifiers and only give your SSN when absolutely necessary.
- Remove your Social Security number from any identification you carry, such as checks, driver's license, or health insurance card. Both your health insurance company and the Department of Motor Vehicles will give you a new number if you request it.
- Review your financial institution and credit card statements monthly for signs of suspicious activity. Immediately contact the company if an item looks suspicious.
- Limit what goes in and out of your mailbox. You can do this a number of ways. Sign-up for Virtual Branch Home Banking, WFCU's online account access. Also sign-up for e-statements, an electronic version of your paper statement. These secure sites can help you manage your account and will help guard your personal information by not using the mail.
- Know when your bills are due to arrive. If bills don't arrive on time, they may have been diverted to a different address. For added security, instead of mailing your bills, pay them online safely by using our Bill Pay (PayIT) service.
- Deposit your outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office, rather than in an unsecured mailbox. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.
- If you're planning to be away from home and can't pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 to request a vacation hold. The Postal Service will hold your mail at your local post office until you can pick it up or are home to receive it.
Remove your name from mailing lists by contacting the Direct Marketing Association at:
Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
Opt out of receiving offers of credit in the mail by calling or registering through the following website. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies use the same toll-free number to let consumers choose not to receive credit offers based on their lists. Note: You will be asked to provide your Social Security number which the consumer reporting companies need to match you with your file.
Phone: 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688)
- Memorize all passwords and PIN numbers so no one can see them in writing. (When establishing PINs, avoid using your Mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.)
Before discarding, shred anything containing information others could use as identification - charge receipts, credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, financial information of any type, etc. To see a list of the documents that you should always shred, click on the following link:
Order a copy of your credit report and correct any inaccuracies. The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the major nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. To keep a watch on your financials, it's recommended that you obtain a free credit report from one of the companies every four (4) months (ex. Experian-April; Equifax-August; TransUnion-December). Use one of the following three methods to order your free annual report from one or all the national consumer reporting companies:
www.annualcreditreport.com or Take me to the authorized source - Complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form.
Print the form from https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/order?mail and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually, the free annual credit reports are only provided through one of the methods above.
THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW. Read more at www.ftc.gov. You have the right to a free credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.
Many states have laws that let consumers "freeze" their credit - in other words, letting a consumer restrict access to his or her credit report. If you place a credit freeze, potential creditors and other third parties will not be able to get access to your credit report unless you temporarily lift the freeze. This means that it's unlikely that an identity thief would be able to open a new account in your name. Placing a credit freeze does not affect your credit score - nor does it keep you from getting your free annual credit report, or from buying your credit report or score.
Credit freeze laws vary from state to state. In some states, anyone can freeze their credit file, while in other states, only identity theft victims can. The cost of placing, temporarily lifting, and removing a credit freeze also varies. Many states make credit freezes free for identity theft victims, while other consumers pay a fee. It's also important to know that these costs are for each of the credit reporting agencies. If you want to freeze your credit, it would mean placing the freeze with each of three credit reporting agencies, and paying the fee to each one.
For more information about credit freezes visit the North Carolina Department of Justice website.
- Be cautious when responding to promotions. Identity thieves may create phony promotional offers to get you to give them your personal information.
- Be wary of anyone calling you to "confirm" personal or financial information. Often, these are criminals trying to obtain those facts under the disguise of "confirmation".
Stop receiving unsolicited calls. You can phone or register online by contacting the National Do Not Call Registry. The registration is free of charge and is effective for five years.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computer's security. If you receive an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on any links in the message.
How Do I Know If I'm A Victim Of Identity Theft?
If an identity thief is opening new credit accounts in your name, these accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You can find out by ordering a copy of your credit report from the three consumer reporting companies. If you have lost any personal information, or if it has been stolen, you may want to check all your reports more frequently for the first year. Monitor the balances of your accounts. Look for unexplained charges or withdrawals. Other indications of identity theft can be:
- Failing to receive bills or other mail. This could mean an identity thief has submitted a change of address.
- Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply.
- Denial of credit for no apparent reason.
- Receiving calls from debt collectors or companies about merchandise or services you didn't buy.
What Should I Do If I Become A Victim?
Take action immediately to protect your good name and to prevent future fraud with your accounts and finances. Keep a log regarding the theft. The log should include the date, time, name, title, and telephone number of each person with whom you spoke, plus the substance of the telephone conversations and the address for correspondence. Follow each call with a letter confirming the conversation and any agreed-upon action. Send the correspondence by certified mail, return-receipt requested, and keep a file with copies of all your correspondence, the enclosures, and the return receipt.
- File a report with the police and keep a copy of the report in case you need proof of the crime later.
- Visit this website for a copy of the ID Theft Victim Toolkit
Visit the following website for an in-depth list of information and actions you should take depending on your individual circumstances.
Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft
- Call one of the three major credit bureaus (numbers listed below) to tell them your identity has been stolen. Request that a "fraud alert" be placed on your file and that no new credit be granted without your approval. Be sure to request that each reporting agency sends you a copy of your credit report and check each report carefully for accounts, charges, inquiries, defaults, and delinquencies for which you're not responsible. The credit bureau that you contact is responsible for contacting the other two bureaus.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). By sharing your identity theft complaint with the FTC, you will provide important information that can help law enforcement officials across the nation track down identity thieves and stop them. The FTC can refer victims' complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action, as well as investigate companies for violations of laws the agency enforces.
Theft Hotline: 1-877-438-4338
- Call and speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each of your credit card companies and financial institutions. Credit card and debit card issuers should cancel their cards and provide a replacement with a new account number.
- Contact Welcome Federal Credit Union, your credit card companies, and any other financial institutions you may use and close accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Consider putting passwords on any new accounts you open. Avoid using your Mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.
If you suspect that someone is using your Social Security number, report your ID theft to the Social Security Administration.
Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline: 1-800-269-0271
For information on Identity Theft and your Social Security number
- U. S. Department of Justice, ID Theft information