Don’t let Summertime Fun become a Summertime Bum…

swim-860129_960_720Summertime…vacations, river and lake trips, camping, beach time, family, fun….

Unfortunately summertime can also leads to increased scams, mail theft, pickpocketing etc. While you are relaxing and enjoying yourself, many scam artists are working overtime.

ID theft continues to be one on the most damaging types of fraud. A 2015 Javelin Strategy & Research report found that 12.7 million Americans were victimized by identity theft in the past year, translating into a total of $16 billion in losses. Your Information can be compromised in a variety of ways — from mail theft, computer/account hacking, stolen credit card numbers, or unknowing giving your information to con-artist.

While older adults are not the exclusive targets of ID theft, they can be especially susceptible to victimization, and the impact can be devastating. Identity thieves use the information to open new accounts, misuse checking or saving accounts, rent housing, obtain medical care or employment, or to obtain government records such as tax returns. Some thieves even use stolen identities when being charged with crimes.

FTC offers these tips to protect yourself and elderly relatives: 

  • Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact, can identify whom you’re dealing with, and know how your information will be used and secured. 
  • Guard your mail and trash from theft. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office instead of in an unsecured mailbox. Remove mail from your mailbox promptly. Put a hold or have a trusted person pick up your mail/newspaper if you are gone.
  • Tear or shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications or offers, insurance forms, physician statements, check and bank statements, and expired charge cards.
  • Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Rather, keep it in a secure place and give your SSN only when absolutely necessary.
  • If your Medicare card has your SSN listed on it, make a photocopy of the card and use a permanent marker to black out the first five digits of your SSN only on the photocopy. Carry the photocopy of the card wit you and keep your Medicare card in a secure place. 
  • Limit the identification information and the number of credit and debit cards that you carry.luggage-933487_1280
  • Keep your purse, wallet, suitcase, backpacks, phones/tablets and laptops in a safe place at work and at home, or while on vacation. Motel rooms, vehicles, campers, tents, or overhead bins can be easily accessed or broken into.
  • Monitor and review your credit report annually. 

The Emerald Empire Federal Credit Union along with VISA, work hard to keep your EEFCU VISA Checkcard monitored and safe. If we, or VISA see anything suspicious, we will contact you and possibly block your card. If you ever become a victim of identity theft, remember that we’re here to help.

Copyright 2015 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.