Protect Yourself from "Phishing" & ID Theft

Most people with whom you do business are probably honest. Unfortunately, there are those who'll try to steal your identity and motivate you to supply private data in order to defraud you. In this high-tech age, the issues of Phishing and Identity Theft often make the headlines. Below are ways to protect yourself.

Don't be a Victim of "Phishing"

You can become a victim of "Phishing" when you are sent an e-Mail from someone falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise, to motivate you to provide private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-Mail directs you to visit a website where you're asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, Social Security Card, and credit union account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The website, however, is not legitimate and is set up only to steal your information. Phishing, also referred to as "brand spoofing" or "carding," is a variation on "fishing," the idea being that bait is thrown out with the hopes that while most will ignore the bait, some will be tempted into taking it.

Los Angeles Federal Credit Union does NOT and will NOT ever ask you to email us private information. If you think you are being phished, please contact LAFCU and forward us info about the situation. Click to view an informative brochure about phishing.

How to Avoid ID Theft

  • Order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year. Call (877) 322-8228, or visit: www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Don't carry your Social Security Card; leave it in a secure place.
  • Keep personal information in a hidden, secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having service work done at home.
  • Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at a post office.
  • Tear or shred your charge receipts, credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks, LAFCU statements, expired charge cards that you're discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail.
  • Switch to e-Statements instead of receiving paper statements by mail from LAFCU or any creditor.
  • Use passwords to protect your credit card, credit union and phone accounts, etc.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time.
  • Be wary of promotional scams. Identity thieves may use phony offers to get you to give them your personal information.
  • When ordering new checks, pick them up at LAFCU, rather than having them sent to your home mailbox.
  • Download the Federal Trade Commission's guide to identity theft, available at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.