Identity theft is a growing problem. Someone uses your confidential information to steal assets or impersonate you while obtaining credit for their benefit, leaving you holding the bill. These thieves utilize many types of scams to get you to reveal the information they need.
Recognize identity theft
Identity thieves want confidential information, such as your Social Security Number, credit card numbers, passwords, and mother’s maiden name. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to spot thieves in action. Here are some ways they may try to pry into your life:
- Internet – Fraudulent, but official-looking, email messages or pop-up windows that ask you to update information or enter a contest. This type of online fraud is known as phishing.
- Mail – Theft from your mailbox or trash.
- Phone – Calls to "verify" information.
- Text messaging – Messages delivered directly to your cell phone threatening account closure.
- ATMs and PIN-based transactions – Someone watching over your shoulder.
Protect yourself from identity theft
Identity thieves aren't always strangers! You can do a lot to protect yourself if you keep your confidential information private.
- Don't give out your passwords or Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), and never write them down or leave them in plain view.
- Regularly monitor your Alaska USA accounts and set email alerts for low account balances.
- Change your online banking password periodically and don’t tell it to others.
- Sign up to receive your account statement electronically with eStatements, and keep your account information out of the wrong hands.
- Ask a representative at the Member Service Center to add a password to your account to be used when calling for account information.
- Choose your own PIN on your ATM or Visa® Debit Card.
- Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228 to order your free credit report annually.
- Review your credit card and account statements as soon as you receive them to watch for any charges or withdrawals you did not make.
- Shred account statements, bills, preapproved credit offers, and other documents with confidential information before you throw them in the trash.
- Avoid emailing confidential and financial information.
- Call the company or log on to their website directly.
- Install and regularly update anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software on your computer.
What to do if your identity is stolen
If you believe there are unauthorized transactions on any of your Alaska USA accounts, call the Member Service Center immediately.