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Identity Theft: What You Need to Know

Identity theft (or "true name fraud") occurs when a criminal obtains and uses a consumer's personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, insurance information, and Social Security numbers to purchase goods or services fraudulently. Generally, criminals will do this by opening new accounts in your name, purchasing products, and then leaving you to pay the bill.

One of the reasons we ask for ID when you make a withdrawal is to help protect your accounts against identity theft and fraudulent transactions.

Here are some suggestions from the State of Ohio Attorney General:

If your purse or wallet is stolen

  • Immediately file a police report
  • Send copies of the police report to your financial institution, credit card companies, and insurance company
  • Cancel credit card and bank accounts
  • Have new accounts opened with new numbers
  • Report lost or stolen credit cards to the three national credit-reporting agencies (Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax) in writing

If you are a victim of identity theft

  • Immediately contact the police and file a police report
  • Notify the credit union/financial institutions and credit card companies of the fraud
  • Send copies of the police report to your bank and credit card companies
  • Immediately cancel credit card and credit union/financial institution accounts
  • Have new accounts opened with new numbers.

Ohio University Credit Union Credit Card Lost/Stolen Numbers:

Visa Debit Card: 1-866-820-1042

After hours Credit Card Number : 1-800-449-7728

During business hours, you can call the Credit Union.

Contact the creditors of any accounts that have been tampered with or fraudulently used.

It is important to report fraudulent activity to the credit bureaus because you may establish a written record of the theft or loss of your cards. A "victim statement" can be added to your records explaining the circumstances under which your cards were lost or stolen, which may protect your credit. You may also ask to be contacted before any new credit is granted in your name.

Contact the fraud department of one of the three national credit bureaus. Add a "fraud alert" to your credit file to aid in the prevention of further fraudulent activities.

Once your fraud alert is confirmed, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts.

Experian www.experian.com To report fraud call: 1-(888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Equifax www.equifax.com To report fraud call: 1-(800) 525-6285
Trans Union www.transunion.com To report fraud call: 1-(800) 680-7289

Warning Signs of Identity Theft

  • You receive bills from a credit account you did not open.
  • You see unauthorized charges on your credit, long distance, or bank accounts.
  • You are contacted by a collection agency regarding a debt you did not incur.
  • Checks disappear from your checkbook.
  • Credit Union and credit billing statements don't arrive on time.
  • Your credit report shows accounts you did not authorize.
  • You are turned down for a credit card, loan, mortgage, or other form of credit due to unauthorized debts on your credit report.