U.S.A. Patriot Act
Helping the Government Fight Terrorism
As you know, the United States government is fighting terrorism on all fronts. To help the government put an end to the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, all financial institutions, including Alameda Credit Union, are required to verify the identity of every person who opens an account.
On October 1st, the U.S.A. Patriot Act went into effect. This means that just as there is heightened security at airports across the country, there will be increased identity verification requirements at the credit union. When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents.
With the extra paperwork and identification requirements, when opening a new account, your patience and cooperation is appreciated. These things are here to protect you, your family, and your fellow Americans. Think of it as your personal role in our country’s fight to protect freedom and democracy.
Plastic Card Security Tips
Ways to Protect Your Identity
With the explosion of Internet financial transactions and the burgeoning use of credit and debit cards, it's more important than ever to protect your electronic identity. Here are some tips to remember:
Avoid carrying all your plastic cards, Social Security number, birth certificate or passport. Carry only those cards you will be using and other necessary identification.
Reduce the number of active cards you have.
Do not write your password or PIN (Personal Identification Number) on your card -- or carry it with you. Memorize it!
When shopping on the Internet, buy from recognizable, reputable businesses. And make sure you are shopping in a "secure" environment on their website.
Transactions completed over the Internet should be handled carefully. Do not assume your communication is private. Ensure your transmittal of any personal information is protected by encryption. Check with creditors, merchants, network providers, etc. to find out what they're doing to ensure your privacy.
If you notice a decrease in mail to any one person in your household, or do not receive anticipated statements, contact the post office and/or your creditor to verify the address they show on your account. Account takeovers are usually accomplished by changing the address on an individual and then requesting new plastic cards.
When you go on vacation, have your mail retained at the post office until you return.
Do not have your Social Security numbers or driver's license number printed on your checks.
Compliment merchants and clerks who hold your card and verify your signature. Confront clerks who do not verify your signature as required by both VISA and MasterCard.
Most of all, be careful and use common sense when using your credit card, debit card or the Internet.
Safety Tips for ATM Users
Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind whenever and wherever you conduct your ATM banking.
Keep your ATM card in a safe place. Treat your card as you would cash or a credit card. If your card is lost or stolen (or if you suspect someone used it without your permission), contact us immediately.
Keep your secret code secret. To protect your account from unauthorized use, memorize, your secret code and keep it secret. Don't write your code on your ATM card or carry your code in your wallet. And don't tell your code to anyone. Someone you trust today may not be trustworthy tomorrow.
Don't fall for 'con' games. If anyone asks you to withdraw money for any reason, leave immediately.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Use ATMs that are will lighted and visible. When using an ATM after dark, consider having another person accompany you. And if you notice any suspicious activity near the ATM, postpone your banking and go to another location.
When using drive-up ATMs, be sure your car doors are locked and all windows, except the driver's are closed. Keep your car engine running and be aware of anyone loitering or in nearby vehicles.
Minimize your time at the ATM. Have your card and all forms completed before you approach the ATM. Put your money and ATM receipt away as soon as your transaction is finished and move away from the ATM. Wait until you are in the safety of your home or car to count your money.
When in doubt, leave the ATM. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or concerned while you are using an ATM, cancel your transaction, take your card and leave immediately.
Maintain your privacy. Never give information about your ATM card or secret code to strangers or to anyone over the telephone. Only communicate with us about your card or code in person. When you make a transaction, stand directly in front of the ATM so others can't see you enter your PIN or make your transaction.
Protect the security of your accounts, please take your receipts with you when complete your transactions.
REPORT ALL SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY OR CRIMES TO US AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY.
How can someone steal your identity?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
Identity theft is a serious crime. People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years - and their hard-earned money - cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name and credit record. In the meantime, victims may lose job opportunities, be refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even get arrested for crimes they didn't commit.
If you think your identity has been stolen,
here's what to do now:
1) Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts, and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge.
To order your report, call: 800-685-1111 or write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud, call: 800-525-6285 and write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Hearing impaired call 1-800-255-0056
and ask the operator to call the Auto Disclosure Line
at 1-800-685-1111 to request a copy of your report.
To order your report, call: 888-397-3742 or write:
P.O. Box 2002, Allen TX 75013
To report fraud, call: 888-397-3742 and write:
P.O. Box 9530, Allen TX 75013
To order your report, call: 800-888-4213 or write:
P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022
To report fraud, call: 800-680-7289 and write:
Fraud Victim Assistance Division,
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
2) Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit when disputing new unauthorized accounts.
3) File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
4) File your complaint with the FTC. The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations. Filing a complaint also helps us learn more about identity theft and the problems victims are having so that we can better assist you.
For more in-depth information on recovering from identity theft and help with specific problems, read
ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name.