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Prevent Identity Theft

Cardholders should never provide their Personal Identification Number (PIN) to anyone. The cardholder should only provide personal information, debit or credit card numbers if they initiate the phone call or e-mail.

Identity thieves are clever and pose as representatives of financial institutions, Internet service providers (ISPs), and even government agencies to deceive people into revealing their Social Security Number (SSN), mother's maiden name, account numbers, Personal Identification Number (PIN), and other identifying information. Before you share any information, confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate organization.

Check an organization's Web site by typing its URL in the address line, rather that cutting and pasting it. Many companies post scam alerts when their name is used improperly. You can also call customer service using the number listed on your account statement or in the telephone directory.

Click here for more on how to protect yourself

Identity Theft Victims: Immediate Steps

If you are a victim of identity theft, take the following four steps as soon as possible, and keep a record with the details of your conversations and copies of all correspondence.

1. Contact the toll-free fraud number of any of the three consumer reporting companies below to place a fraud alert on your credit report.

You only need to contact one of the three companies to place an alert. The company you call is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of your report, too. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts.

  • Equifax
    P.O. Box 740241
    Atlanta, GA 30374- 0241
  • Experian
    888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
    P.O. Box 9532
    Allen, TX 75013
  • TransUnion
    Fraud Victim Assistance Division
    P.O. Box 6790
    Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

Once you place the fraud alert in your file, you're entitled to order free copies of your credit reports, and, if you ask, only the last four digits of your social security number (SSN) will appear on your credit reports. Review the credit reports carefully. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts you can't explain. Verify your SSN, address(es), name , initials, and employers. File written responses to have fraudulent or inaccurate information removed.

2. Contact Aurora Credit Union and close the accounts you know have been compromised with or opened fraudulently.

The Credit Union will provide you with an ID Theft Affidavit. When you open new accounts, use new Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name, your birthday, the last four digits of your SSN, your phone number,or a series of consecutive numbers.

3. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.

Obtain a copy of the police report or at the very least, the number of the report. It can help you work with creditors who need proof of the crime. If the police are reluctant to take your report, ask to file a "Miscellaneous Incidents" report.

4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

You can file a complaint online at If you don't have Internet access, call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653- 4261; or write:

Identity Theft Clearinghouse
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

Contact the Hotline to update your complaint if you have any additional information or problems.

By sharing your identity theft complaint with the FTC, you will provide important information that can help national law enforcement officials apprehend identity thieves. 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.

Publications available from Aurora Credit Union:

  • Federal Trade Commission Publications: Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft ID Theft: What's It All About?
  • CBM Credit Education Foundation, Inc. Publication: Identity Theft: Your Good Name Gone Bad