FRAUD ALERTS & PREVENTION
What is a Fraud Alert?
There are two types of fraud alerts: an initial alert and an extended alert.
An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for at least 90 days.
You may ask that an initial fraud alert be placed on your credit report if you suspect you have been, or are about to be, a victim of identity theft. An initial alert is appropriate if your wallet has been stolen or if you’ve been taken in by a “phishing” scam. With an initial fraud alert, potential creditors must use what the law refers to as “reasonable policies and procedures” to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. However, the steps potential creditors take to verify your identity may not always alert them that the applicant is not you. When you place an initial fraud alert on your credit report, you’re entitled to order one free credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies, and, if you ask, only the last four digits of your Social Security number will appear on your credit reports.
An extended fraud alert stays on your credit report for seven years.
You can have an extended alert placed on your credit report if you’ve been a victim of identity theft and you provide the consumer reporting company with an Identity Theft Report. An automated Identity Theft Report, such as the printed ID Theft Complaint available from the Federal Trade Commission website, should be sufficient to obtain an extended fraud alert. With an extended fraud alert, potential creditors must actually contact you, or meet with you in person, before they issue you credit. When you place an extended alert on your credit report, you’re entitled to two free credit reports within twelve months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. In addition, the consumer reporting companies will remove your name from marketing lists for pre-screened credit offers for five years unless you ask them to put your name back on the list before then.
To place either of these alerts on your credit report, or to have them removed, you will be required to provide appropriate proof of your identity: that may include your Social Security number, name, address, and other personal information requested by the consumer reporting company.
As mentioned, depending on the type of fraud alert you place, potential creditors must either contact you or take reasonable steps to verify your identity. This may cause some delays if you’re trying to obtain credit. To compensate for possible delays, you may wish to include a cell phone number, where you can be reached easily, in your alert. Remember to keep all contact information in your alert current.
The security of your member information is our priority at Quantum Credit Union, and one of the best ways to avoid fraud is to become an educated consumer. Please take a moment to read these important tips on how to ensure safety when conducting business online.
Set good passwords and strong challenge questions.Open or Close
A good password is one that contains upper and lowercase letters, making it difficult for hackers to guess. Special characters — such as #!%@ — when allowed in a password, provide added security. Strong challenge questions have answers that are not readily known by others or that cannot be easily obtained. Change your passwords and challenge questions frequently and do not write these down to share with others.
Don't reveal personal information.Open or Close
It’s easy for criminals to mask emails, text messages, and phone calls to make them appear that they are coming from a trusted source. Play it safe — do not provide account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, or other similar personal information to anyone who contacts you without you having first contacted them.
Don't download files from unsolicited emails.Open or Close
Opening files attached to emails or from unknown sources on the Internet can allow harmful malware or viruses to be downloaded onto your computer. Make sure your computer’s antivirus program is always up to date and open only files that you receive from trusted sources.
Links in emails and on websites aren’t always safe.Open or Close
Never log in to an account using a link that is embedded in an email message. Criminals can make and use fake email addresses and web pages. To avoid falling into a trap, type in the URL address directly, and then log in. Secure sites display https: at the beginning of the URL. Take time to verify the URL prior to logging in to a secure site.
Log off sites when your transactions are complete.Open or Close
When you are ready to leave a website, be sure to log off, don’t just close the page.
Monitor your account activity regularly.Open or Close
Check your account regularly online or by reviewing your monthly statements and report any unauthorized transactions right away. To help you monitor your account, Quantum offers the following additional email and text alerts:
● When your account is accessed.
● When large dollar transactions occur.
● When your password and email address changes.
You can also periodically obtain credit reports from each nationwide credit reporting agency. To order, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
Assess your risk.Open or Close
Quantum recommends that you periodically assess your risk, particularly if you are a business member, and increase security controls where weaknesses are found. Questions to consider when assessing your risk are:
● Who has access to your accounts?
● Where are user names and passwords stored and how are they accessed?
● How strong are your passwords and challenge questions and how often are they changed?
Rights and Responsibilities
With respect to online and electronic fund transfers, the Federal government has put in place rights and responsibilities for both you and Quantum. These rights and responsibilities are described in the Account Information Disclosures you received when you opened your account with Quantum. You may also contact us to obtain updated copies of these disclosures at any time. Contact Quantum immediately at 316-263-5756 if you notice suspicious account activity or experience security-related events.
For More Information
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To learn more about credit issues and protecting your personal information, visit http://ftc.gov/credit.
To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a video, How to File a Complaint, at ftc.gov/video to learn more. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Please visit the FTC's online guidance for additional steps to protect yourself against identity theft. Visit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
You have the right to a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.